At 1 p.m. today, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced inductees of the 2009 Hall of Fame class, as voted by the Hall’s Veterans’ Committee. On the list of 10 possible inductees was my main man, Ron Santo, former Cubs third baseman and hero to all who have fought or have been touched in some way by the horrible disease of diabetes.
And once again, Santo didn’t have his named called.
I because a Cubs fan when I was 8, about the time Santo was finishing up what should have been deemed a Hall-worthy career a long time ago. But he is my favorite player, probably more for his courage off the field and his tireless fund-raising efforts to combat diabetes than anything. My mother died because of a life-long fight with the horrible disease, and it’s because of heroes like Santo, who continues to broadcast Cubs games on WGN Radio despite having lost both of his legs, that give us all hope that one day diabetes won’t be as debilitating as it is.
I had the great forture of running into Ronnie on the breezeway at Wrigley Field in 1999, and he gave my buddy and I a story we will never forget, even apologizing to us for the way the Cubs had played in being swept in our first trip to Wrigley.
I wish he had finally made the Hall of Fame today. I still believe one day he will. I just hope he’s around to see it.
Because I know how cruel diabetes can be.