The stats bureau at the MLB league office will need to change some of Ron Stano's numbers after Sunday's Hall of Fame induction. Josh Timmers of Bleed Cubbie Blue reports that Santo hit No. 343 over the weekend:
Vicki Santo just hit Ronnie's last home run for him. #Santo @JDRF
Long before science and technology caught up to Diabetes, Ron was as much as guinea pig as a baseball player. On a given day, he played doctor and third base. He tested his sugars by taking batting practice; he checked his glucose levels by fielding grounders; he gauged the amount of insulin he would need by running the bases. And this was before the game even started.
His prescription was often a candy bar or a glass of orange juice, never letting on that his sugars were low or telling his teammates about his daily injections. But without the difficulties, what value would have been the gift, what meaning would have been the journey?
It never held him back -- not before his career, not during, and not after. Not even after double amputations because Ron Santo believed it's not what happens to you in life that people may judge, but how you handle what happens to you in your life.
Ron Santo, who played with diabetes much to the surprise of his teammates, died from complications of his diabetes and bladder cancer in December, 2010.
"This is not a sad day,'' Vicki said at the beginning of the speech. "This is a happy day, an incredible day for an incredible man.''
Vicki Santo nicely summed up the Hall of Fame career of a natural athlete who got to the big leagues at age 20 and played 15 years as a third baseman, 14 of those with the Cubs, but fought a daily battle against his disease, which was discovered in a physical after he had turned down many better offers to sign a $20,000 deal with the Cubs.
July 17: A luncheon with Ron Santo Jr., Fergie Jenkins and Pat Hughes at the Wildfire Chicago steakhouse.
July 21: A Cubs Fan Fest held in Cooperstown, Ohio, featuring Billy Williams, Randy Hundley, the Ricketts family, Jenkins, Hughes and more.
July 22: A Hall of Fame induction viewing party at the Captain Morgan's Club restaurant adjacent to Wrigley Field.
July 27: A "Ron Santo Day" at Wrigley Field as the Cubs take on the St. Louis Cardinals. The first 10,000 fans will receive commemorative Ron Santo Hall of Fame plaques and proceeds from Ron Santo gear will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Former Chicago Cubs third basemen Ron Santo has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, thanks to a vote by the Golden Era committee, a group of 16 that includes Hall of Fame players, as well as baseball executives and veteran reporters. Of the 16 votes, Santo needed 75% to be inducted into the Hall, and he got much more than that, collecting all but one of the available votes.
Unfortunately for Santo, who died a little over a year ago after fighting bladder cancer and other illnesses, he was not able to make it through while still alive. Santo will be the 11th Hall of Fame third basemen and the 47th Chicago Cub, and arguably no player in the team's history is more synonymous with the franchise than Santo, who went on to broadcast Cubs games for over two decades after retiring from the game.