Friday, Dec. 3, 2010
By Tracey Myers
Chicago Blackhawks president John McDonough said he lost a very good friend when Ron Santo died, and he believes the Cubs great should be in the Hall of Fame.
Santo, whos been the Cubs radio color commentator since 1990, died of complications from bladder cancer late Thursday night; he was 70 years old.
McDonough, who served as Cubs president from 1983 to 2007 when he joined the Blackhawks in the same role, said Santo was really an inspiration to me and millions of people.
Heres a guy who played with diabetes, suffered through cancer, was a double amputee and was probably the most enthusiastic guy who came to the ballpark every day, McDonough said prior to the Blackhawks game on Friday night. I think every day, probably for the last 15 years, was extra innings for him.
If the axiom is true that you only tease the ones you love, I think Ronny would be the guy we loved the most.
McDonough reminisced about Santo, from the pranks he played to his unique style of broadcasting.
We talked about his broadcasting all the time; there was no preparation, McDonough said. In many instances he wasnt sure who was on our roster or the other teams and he would sometimes ask his (broadcast partner) Pat Hughes, How did that guy get on base? Or he would ask When did we acquire him? And it was the guys second year. He was very unique, very charismatic.
Santo was never elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, despite strong numbers. In his 15-year career, the third baseman batted .277 with 2,254 hits, 342 home runs and 1,331 RBI. The Cubs, with whom he played 14 of those seasons, retired his No. 10 jersey in 2003.
McDonough said Santo belongs in Cooperstown.
I wish he wouldve been here when he goes in, and I do believe he will go in, McDonough said. I was proud to be there when we notified him that his jersey would be retired on Sept. 28, 2003. He said that day it was the greatest moment of his life. He said, This is my Hall of Fame. Its sad to me he wont be here when it happens, but I do believe it will happen.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.