Beginning of the end for Santo Era
It is looking like the beginning of the end of the Ron Santo Era. Cubs legend and radio color “analyst” Ron Santo announced he is limiting his broadcast schedule on WGN AM720. He will forego the coming West coast series in Seattle where the Cubs will face the Mariners in inter-league competition. Then he will return for the second and final round of this year’s Crosstown ClassicÂ versus theÂ White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field next weekend. But beyond that, Santo may taking some other road trips off this season. Next year, he says he will be limiting his road duties to apparently midwestern cities only.
Ron Santo is a Cubs legend. His passion is renown, but his game analysis offers almost no value besides an occasional story from when he played. Still, his spirit and tenure embodies that of a die-hard Cubs fan. He played hard in his day but has no ring or Hall of Fame recognition to show for it. Suffering from Diabetes, he’s lost much of both legs and gets around on prosthetics to make it to the radio booth most Cubs games of the past 20 years. He refuses to give up or give in. He wears his heart on his sleeve and goes home disappointed each October as we all do. But he is back and brimming with unfounded, borderline-delusional blind optimism each spring. The guy and his resiliancyÂ is nothing if not inspirational.
Baseball purists can ridicule his game analysis, but Pat Hughes quietly makes up a good part of that void with clever, well constructed lead-ins to nudge Ronnie toward an attempt at gameÂ analysis and the occasional war stories from back in the day. Honestly I think Pat deserves a better baseball foil, but as a broadcast partner the two make it special for everyone.
Now Ronnie is 70 years old and his health is catching up with him. I sure wish him well and hope the team can make it to the promised land before he does.