Cheap Seats

Godspeed, Ron Santo

I'm flying my blue "L" flag at half staff today.

A tip of the Cheap Seats cap to longtime Cubs player and broadcaster Ron Santo who passed away after struggling with numerous health problems over the years.

Perhaps the biggest Wee Bears cheerleader in Wee Bears history, Santo served as something of a comic foil to his Cardinals contemporaries. Al Hrabosky and Mike Shannon would hassle him about the Cubs' inability to win the big one and Santo would get all lathered up in defense of his team... Good times.

Santo represents an era of the Cardinals-Cubs rivalry when the players were loyal to their teams because they didn't jump around every couple of years to the highest bidder. It showed on the field because, back in those days, the rivalries meant as much -- or more to the players on the field -- than they did to the fans in the stands.

Ron Santo reacts to another ninth inning meltdown by the Cubs. (He's the one yelling Oh, God!)

While he was a rival, Santo was a friendly rival. While his broadcasting lacked technical merit, there's no argument against the fact that he was one of the great ambassadors of the game. And for that, he will be missed in all corners of the baseball world.