When Ron Santo is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday afternoon in Cooperstown, N.Y., there will be a bittersweet feel to it all.
After several decades and 15 tries on the ballot, Santo was finally elected by his peers to join the best of the best. But unfortunately, he is no longer around to enjoy the moment.
Santo, who passed away from complications due to cancer in December 2010, was a Cubs icon for his play on the field, his work in the broadcast booth and his everlasting effort to help the cause for those with diabetes.
But if he was still around, what would the loveable legend have to say at his press conference?
His daughter, Linda, had an idea.
"He would have started off by saying, 'thank you.'" she said Saturday at the Cubs Fan Fest. "He'd be thanking the Hall of Fame. He'd be saying 'I'm so honored.'
"It's more of what you would see -- the emotion out of him -- than what you would say. It would all be in his face, with a big smile. He would thank all the members and then he would go right to thanking Cubs fans."
Santo's wife, Vicki, will give the speech on his behalf Sunday in Cooperstown.
As any listener can attest, Santo always wore his emotions on his sleeve, especially when it came to the Cubs. The Hall of Fame was always his goal and after all the hardship he faced in attaining that achievement, there's a good chance he would not have made it through his speech before emotions took over.
"We've been talking about that," Linda said. "I think he would have pulled up to this town and if he would have walked into some of the ceremonies, he would have been emotional. Absolutely.
"I kept saying the whole way here, he would be going 'I can't believe this. I can't believe this is happening.' I picture him with his head in his hands going 'this is fantastic.'
"You would just see that smile."