Ron Santo, who played the hot corner for the Cubs and then became a legendary on the radio in Chicago, has died at the age of 70. WGN released a statement saying that he died from complications from bladder cancer.
"My siblings and I first knew Ron Santo as fans, listening to him in the broadcast booth," said Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement. "We knew him for his passion, his loyalty, his great personal courage and his tremendous sense of humor. It was our great honor to get to know him personally in our first year as owners.
"Ronnie will forever be the heart and soul of Cubs fans."
“I am truly saddened by the loss of my dear friend Ron Santo, who represented all the goodwill of baseball and the Chicago Cubs franchise" said Baseball Commissioner Selig. "He was a magnificent, consistent ballplayer – a nine-time All-Star, a great power hitter and a five-time Gold Glove winner. Ron’s playing and broadcasting careers shared a common thread: in both capacities, he was a staple of the Cubs’ experience every single day. I enjoyed our many phone conversations and all the times when I visited him in the booth at Wrigley Field and during Spring Training.
“Ron, who overcame so much in his life, was always there for me during challenging times. I will forever cherish his friendship and marvel at his remarkable work in the fight against diabetes. On behalf of all of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to his wife Vicki, their four children, their grandchildren, and to all the fans of the Cubs.”
Santo played from 1960-73 with the Cubs closing his career out in Chicago, albeit with the White Sox. He then transitioned to the broadcast booth in 1990 where became the Cubs biggest cheerleader.
He was a great player, maybe one of the best to not be in Cooperstown. Over 15 seasons he had a career 277 average with 342 home runs and 1,331 RBIs.
And yet, the Hall of Fame eluded Santo. Over the course of 19 different appearances on the ballot, he failed to gain the needed votes.
Dan Shulman will be paired with analysts Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine to form ESPN’s new Sunday Night Baseball booth beginning with the 2011 Major League Baseball season, it was announced today by Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. Dan Shulman, most recently the voice of ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball, will be the network’s Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play commentator. Orel Hershiser will return as a Sunday Night Baseball analyst, and be joined by Bobby Valentine, a newcomer to the Sunday Night booth.
"Dan has broad knowledge of the game, an ability to articulate baseball's analytics and a conversational tone which will bring out the best in our analysts," said Williamson. “Pairing him with Orel Hershiser, who made great contributions in the Sunday NightBaseball booth last season, and the unique opinions and fresh perspective of Bobby Valentine, will make for a dynamic Sunday Night team.”
Shulman has previously served as the voice of ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball (2008-10) and Wednesday Night Baseball (2002-07), along with ESPN Radio’s MLB postseason (1998-present) and regular-season (2002-07) coverage. Valentine, a former MLB manager, will also be new to the Sunday Night Baseball booth next season. He will continue as a Baseball Tonight analyst as well. Hershiser, a former Major League Baseball pitcher and Cy Young winner, joined Sunday Night Baseball last season.
Additionally, ESPN Radio’s new Sunday NightBaseball broadcast team will be play-by-play commentator Jon Sciambi, returning for his second season in the Sunday Night booth, and analyst Chris Singleton. This will be Singleton’s first year contributing to ESPN Radio’s Sunday Night Baseball coverage. He joined ESPN in 2008, providing analysis on Baseball Tonight, before adding Monday Night Baseball responsibilities last season. Singleton contributed to ESPN Radio’s MLB postseason coverage in 2008 and 2009, along with select regular-season games.
EDITOR'S NOTE: It appears Jon Miller will not be returning to ESPN as part of the radio broadcast team
Maury Brown, the president of the Business of Sports Network will be on MLB Network Radio(XM 175 and Sirius 210) at 3:05pm ET/12:05pm PT with Seth Everett talking salary caps and the Rays stadium issues.
Of all the seminal moments in Major League Baseball history, the 1919 Black Sox scandal is likely the greatest. If not for the scandal, there would be no commissioner; Pete Rose would likely be in the Hall of Fame, and; discussions around whether an MLB club should be in Las Vegas might have one less distraction.
The fixing of the 1919 World Series is featured in the latest edition of Major League Baseball Productions’ Triumph and Tragedy: The 1919 Chicago White Sox, airing on MLB Network this Saturday, November 13 at 9:00 p.m. ET. The documentary recounts the events that led eight members of the White Sox - Eddie Cicotte, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, Arnold “Chick” Gandil, Oscar "Happy" Felsch, Fred McMullin, Charles "Swede" Risberg and Claude "Lefty" Williams – to become part of a gambling scheme in advance of the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds and turn what could have been a dynasty into one of the most infamous clubs in Major League Baseball history.
Beginning with the players' involvement in the fixing of the series and leading to their later expulsion from baseball, Triumph and Tragedy details the appointment of the first commissioner of Major League Baseball and the steps taken to preserve the game, and role of Babe Ruth in ushering an new era and reinvigorating the sport.
Using photos that have never before been seen on TV, MLB Productions also incorporated player recreation for the first time and gathered new interviews with historians, writers and authors Ken Burns, Frank DeFord, Dr. Susan Dellinger, Robert Lipsyte, Bill Madden, Bert Sugar and John Thorn. The show also features a reading of original MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis's judgment against the "eight men out," read by MLB players Josh Hamilton, Mark Teixeira and Eric Chavez, journalists DeFord and Sugar, and MLB Network's Barry Larkin and Al Leiter. Triumph and Tragedy is narrated by MLB Network's Matt Vasgersian.
Highlights of the episode include:
“One of the greatest tragedies in the history of the sport took place in that Fall Classic.” – Ken Burns
“Judge Landis’s announcement was succinct and forceful. Basically, it laid the ground rules for a new era in baseball.” – Bert Sugar
“People still say that if Babe Ruth did not come along at that time and started hitting home runs, that baseball might never have recovered its honor.” – Frank DeFord
“I couldn’t imagine entering a game where there were rumors of my teammates or players on the other team fixing a game. I think it’s great what Judge Landis did so many years ago because this game is played for the fans. If we don’t have integrity, if those fans don’t know that were playing with 100 percent to win every single game, then they’re not going to show up anymore and we don’t have a game.” – Mark Teixeira
“The "Black Sox" scandal in its way strengthened baseball. The idea that baseball can go through a crisis, can clean itself up, could come out strong and seemingly pure at the other end, I think gave America the sense that this really was indeed our game.” – Robert Lipsyte
Commissioner Selig announced on Wednesday that David Glass, Owner and Chairman of the Kansas City Royals, has been elected Chairman of the Board of MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, which includes MLB.com.
Glass, who has been instrumental in overseeing and guiding MLBAM as a Board member since its inception in 2000, replaces Bob DuPuy, who resigned as MLB President at the end of last month. In his role as Chairman, Glass will take on greater responsibilities in overseeing the continued growth of MLBAM. He will also continue in his roles as a member of Major League Baseball’s Executive Council and MLB Enterprises. Prior to purchasing the Royals, Glass served for 12 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of Wal-Mart, earning the reputation as one of the nation’s premier executives. Glass has been recognized with numerous awards, including his induction into the Retail Hall of Fame in August, 2000.
In 1993, Glass was appointed interim chairman and Chief Executive Officer upon the death of Ewing Kauffman and in April, 2000, his family acquired the Royals organization. Under Glass' tenure the Royals have finished above .500 just three times (1993-94, 2003).
“Baseball is extremely fortunate to be able to draw upon someone with the background and experience of David Glass," said Selig. “He has been a valuable member on many important committees and, in his new role as Chairman, MLBAM and Baseball will benefit from his varied talents and abilities.”
Started in 2000, MLB.com was funded by the clubs in an agreement that had them each investing $1 million a year over four years. The cost was targeted at $120 million. To the joy of the owners and MLB, the Website started generating excess revenue in only the second year of its existence, allowing them to invest only $70-$75 million before beginning to see a return on their investment. That investment has turned MLBAM into the sports industries most powerful digital rights arm.
The baseball broadcasting world has lost another Hall of Famer.
Dave Niehaus, the voice of the Seattle Mariners since the team's inception in 1977, passed away Wednesday at his home in Bellevue, Wash. Niehaus, 75, suffered a heart attack, according to his family.
"This is truly devastating news," said Seattle Mariners chairman Howard Lincoln.
Chuck Armstrong, Seattle Mariners president and COO, added, "Speaking for ourselves, our ownership and the entire Mariners family, our thoughts and prayers are with Marilyn, their children, Andy, Matt and Greta, and the grandchildren.
"Dave has truly been the heart and soul of this franchise since its inception in 1977. Since calling Diego Segui's first-pitch strike on Opening Night in the Kingdome some 34 years ago, Dave's voice has been the constant with the franchise. He truly was the fans connection to every game; to wins and losses; to great plays and heartbreaking defeats; to Hall of Famers and journeymen. With the exception of his love for his wife, Marilyn, his children and grandchildren, there was nothing Dave liked more than the game of baseball and to be at the ballpark. He was the voice of spring and summer in the Northwest.
"He was the fans' choice to throw out the first pitch in Safeco Field history, and no one has had a greater impact on our team's connection to fans throughout the Northwest. One of the best days we've ever spent was in Cooperstown in 2008, as Dave took his place in the Baseball Hall of Fame."
Niehaus entered the Baseball Hall of Fame as the 2008 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. His signature homerun calls were, "That ball will fly, fly away!" and the always popular, "It's grand salami time!"
Named one the “Top 10 Most Influential People of the Century” by the Seattle Times, Niehaus threw out the ceremonial first pitch for the inaugural game at Safeco Field on July 15, 1999. Born and raised in Princeton, Ind., and a graduate of Indiana University, Niehaus previously worked for the Armed Forces radio and TV service, calling the action for Dodgers games before moving to New York to handle Yankees baseball, along with basketball and hockey. Following his departure from the Armed Forces Network, Niehaus returned to Los Angeles to broadcast the Dodgers, Rams and Lakers. From 1969-76, he teamed with Dick Enberg and Don Drysdale on California Angels broadcasts, also broadcasting UCLA football and basketball from 1973-76, before moving to Seattle for the inaugural 1977 campaign.
Neihaus is survived by his wife Marilyn, three children and six grandchildren.
According to the Mariners, the Niehaus family has requested privacy at this very difficult time.
Maury Brown, the president of the Business of Sports Network will be on MLB Network Radio(XM 175 and Sirius 210) at 10:30am ET/7:30am PT with Seth Everett talking MLB postseason expansion, and competitive balance.
Coverage of the victory parade and celebration for the 2010 World Series champion San Francisco Giants will air live on MLB Network tomorrow, November 3 beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT. The parade route taken when the Giants were first welcomed to San Francisco in 1958 will be the same route used Wednesday. The parade will conclude on the steps of City Hall, where San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will present the team with the key to the city. MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds and Matt Vasgersian, who covered World Series Games One and Two in San Francisco on MLB Tonight, will host MLB Network’s coverage of the event.
Hot Stove, MLB Network’s live offseason studio show, will begin its new season on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. ET with updates and analysis of the moves all 30 clubs are making and planning in preparation for the 2011 season.