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."
âI 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 â a nine-time All-Star, a great power hitter and a five-time Gold Glove winner.Â Ronâs playing and broadcasting careers shared a common thread: in both capacities, he was a staple of the Cubsâ experience every single day.Â I enjoyed our many phone conversations and all the times when I visited him in the booth at Wrigley Field and during Spring Training.
âRon, who overcame so much in his life, was always there for me during challenging times.Â I will forever cherish his friendship and marvel at his remarkable work in the fight against diabetes.Â 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.â
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.
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