Dodger Fans, baseball has lost a legend that embodied baseball both on and off the field. Today Chicago Cubs legend Ron Santo passed at the age of 70 due to complications from Cancer.
Ron Santo was not an LA Dodger, however what he did for the game of baseball and the world goes above and beyond the game itself. Santo was a career .277 hitter in the big leagues. He hit 342 homeruns and drove in over 1000 RBIS from the second base position. Ron also won five consecutive gold glove awards for his outstanding defense at second base. Yet with all his accomplishments on the field, there was one opponent off the field that Santo battled against every day. This enemy was more deadly than a Nolan Ryan fastball or a Sandy Koufax curveball. That enemy was diabetes.
Ron Santo was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 18. The disease of diabetes was worse back in the 1960’s then it is today. Technology and medicine wasn’t as advanced so diabetes could affect people greater than it can today. Santo, not wanting to appear weak at the big league level didn’t tell his teammates about the disease. Eventually it would come out and Santo was regarded as a baseball hero.
Ron Santo did more than just play with diabetes. He became the spokesperson for the disease. Santos started a charity foundation to help find a cure for diabetes and started sponsored walks that became very popular among fans.
Santos would lose both his legs from the knees down from diabetes and on Wednesday he fell into a coma due to cancer. He died on Thursday. Baseball fans and America truly lost an icon today Dodgers Nation. Ron Santo truly is a man beyond baseball.
Dodgers Nation when you think about the great game of baseball, remember that the people who play the game aren’t greater than the game itself. Ron Santo was an exception to the rule simply because of what he did for the Cubs, the people who suffered from diabetes and America itself.
Rest In Peace Ron Santo; Your Xanadu is waiting!