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2017 Cubs Spring Training Countdown: Day 10

Just 10 days to go...

Ron Santo fans at his Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown in 2012
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

As Cubs fans, we have taken great joy in at last, winning the World Series last fall.

The joy is tempered by this sadness: Ron Santo, whose No. 10 was retired by the Cubs in 2003, wasn’t around to enjoy this championship.

You certainly can imagine how excited he’d have been by the 103 regular-season wins and the 11 in October and November. He never hid his emotions and the roller-coaster ride of Game 7... man, that would have been fun to listen to Ron go up and down.

You probably know the story that Santo turned down an offer from the Cincinnati Reds to sign out of high school that would have paid him more than the Cubs did. He signed with the Cubs in part because he liked Ernie Banks and hoped to someday play with him, and also in part because, well, the Cubs weren’t very good in those days (1958) and he thought he could get to the big leagues faster.

Which he did, just two years out of high school in 1960. And though he was eventually traded away, and spent nearly two decades out of the game before returning to become a radio broadcaster, Santo never stopped loving the Cubs.

And so today, let’s remember him, his pure joy and love of baseball, and that even though he wasn’t here to enjoy the championship, he is still in all our hearts.

10 days until pitchers and catchers report!