WAIW Salute: Ron Santo

Sunday, September 14, 2008

WAIW Salute: Ron Santo

. Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ron Santo: Magically delicious!

Given that today's Magic Number (capitalized for really no reason) is 10, it seems as good a time as any to give a salute to the man who makes me prefer radio broadcasts to television: The one, the only, Ron Santo.

I won't bore you with a lengthy rehashing of Ronnie's storied career, both as a player and a broadcaster. Suffice to say:

- Only supposed to live 25 years because of Type 1 Diabetes, during a Wilfred Brimley-less dark ages diabeetus sufferers. If he felt like crap, it was candy bar time. He rode this strategy to 9 All-Star selections and 5 Gold Gloves.

Every day is Ron Santo day

- Part of that heart-breaking 1969 team loaded with legendary talent (Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins) as well as bad luck.

"Dammit, Ron, we told you not to piss off that Gypsy"

- Somehow isn't in the Hall of Fame, even though he was the first third baseman with 300 homers and 5 Gold Gloves. Baseball sage Bill James thinks this is because the veterans committee is a bunch of dicks. WAIW agrees.

- After fourteen years on the North Side, Santo moved to the hated South Side Sox. The gods of baseball promptly smote him, and he hit .221 with 5 home runs in 345 at-bats. He then promptly retired. We'll blame this one on the diabeetus.

Wrong. Very, very, very, very, very wrong.

- Son Jeff Santo made a movie about his life after baseball, called "This Old Cub." It documents not only his health struggles, but the crushing disappointment of being continually left out of the Hall of Fame. It joins "Brian's Song" as the only other movie after which you're legally allowed to cry.

- Has become, if possible, an even more entertaining broadcaster than player. His anguished cries and yells of triumph often exactly mirror those of the WAIW staff. Frankly, it can be a little creepy.

Toupee by Dupont

- Has another opportunity to get HOF consideration next February. If he does not, we shall call upon the amassed community of Cubs bloggers to light a bunch of flaming crap bags in front of veterans committee member doorsteps.

- Man's got a toupee - and it isn't a good one. I think it's made of the same material as flame retardant childrens' blankets.

- His commercials for Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating show his acting skills. He's obviously studied under some of the finiest porno acting coaches.

- Once uttered the phrase "the fight against JDRF," which, once you think about it, is hilarious.

As much as I enjoy Len and Bob (newly extended contracts - woo!), I grew up on WGN radio baseball broadcasts. There's something I can't quite explain about how my imagination mixes with the emotion that comes over the air to create a much more memorable experience than the comparatively tame TV experience. And that's no slight against the excellent Len and Bob. I just enjoy a little less professionalism in my broadcasts. And it is a slight against Joe Morgan and Jon Miller, who are to baseball what herpes is to gential health.

What, you were expecting a herpes picture? That's sick ... just sick

When your team blows a can't miss game (and we're all familiar with that as Cubs fans), sometimes you want to hear someone get pissed and disgusted. This is exactly what the doctor ordered for those days. If the Bears had someone half as willing to bear their emotions, it might be a lot more tolerable to watch them choke away another game (why yes I am watching while posting, how did you know?).

The mysterious floating signature terrifies many

No matter if he never gets his due as a legendary 3rd baseman from the petty Vets committee, Ron Santo is one of our favorite Cubs, and he's more than deserving of the #10 flag that flutters on the foul poll every day at the Friendly Confines. Here's to you, Ron Santo. You kick more ass with no legs than most people with two could ever dream.