NPR logo The Cubs' Ron Santo, An Inspiring Figure, Has Died


The Cubs' Ron Santo, An Inspiring Figure, Has Died

Chicago Cubs infielder Ron Santo in 1971. He died on Thursday. Robert H. Houston/AP hide caption

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Robert H. Houston/AP

Before we get even more overwhelmed by the day's breaking news, let's pause to remember Ron Santo.

The Chicago Tribune's lead story at this moment begins with this sad news:

"Legendary Chicago Cubs player and broadcaster Ron Santo died Thursday night in Arizona. He was 70."

Chicago's WGN-AM 720 says Santo "died of complications from bladder cancer."

NPR's Scott Simon, who like many Cubs fans lives and dies for the team, sends us this:

"The darndest things happened to Ron Santo. He was an all-star third baseman who would click his heels in a dance when the Cubs won — who then lost his legs to diabetes.

"He was a sturdy, handsome man — whose toupee once caught fire when he got too close to a heater in the Cub press box.

"Ernie Banks is Mr. Cub. But I've always thought that Ron Santo said something about the heart of baseball, which the Cubs exemplify: no matter how much you lose, know that you are lucky to play a game for a living. Especially in front of those fans, in that place. Be loyal, be kind, have a brew with your pals, and count your blessings, 'cause life is short and should be cherished.

"To those of us who are diabetics, too, he exemplified a special kind of courage. He was told as a kid that he could never play pro sports, but he became a Cub (and briefly a White Sock), an all-star, and one of the most inspiring figures on the field."

The Cubs are remembering Santo here.