Hall of Fame finally gets around to Santo
Updated: September 17, 2012 1:57AM
We take you now to Cooperstown, N.Y. where the late Ron Santo will enter the Hall of Fame Sunday after a 20-year wait.
The first time I met Santo was 1973 in Pittsburgh when I was put on The Sun-Times baseball beat. He introduced me to everyone on the Cubs, including the equipment manager and bus driver.
I naively asked Santo years later why he was driving a golf cart up to Wrigley Field’s upper-deck broadcast booth.
“Something’s wrong with my legs,” he said. “The doctors think they might have to take them off (from diabetes).”
That’s what happened. He died last year after a long illness.
Santo will be listening from a heavenly cloud Sunday when he hears the Hall of Fame announcer say, “Now entering, from the Chicago Cubs, No. 10, Ron Santo.”
Dutchie Caray, on her courtship with Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Caray:
“I didn’t know anything about baseball. People on the street would say, ‘Hi, Harry,’ and, ‘How’s it going, Harry?’ He always answered. I finally asked, ‘How do you know all these people?’ and he said, ‘I don’t.’ That was good enough for me. I finally said yes and married him. We lost him a few years ago, but people still ask me, ‘How’s Harry doing?’ ”
Cubs fans are spoiled with Pat Hughes and Bob Brenly in the TV booth. Their knowledge, rapport and humor are priceless.
Bert Wilson was a Cubs announcer in the 1940s and ’50s. He opened and closed every game by saying, “I don’t care who wins as long as it’s the Cubs.”
White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson has a bucket full of cliches that White Sox fans love:
“You can put it on the board, ye-e-e-s-s-s! Mercy!” for a home run.
“Stretch, stretch, stretch. Stay fair! Dad gum it!” when a Sox fly is caught at the wall.
“Don’t stop now, boys,” for a rally.
“He gone,” when an opponent strikes out.
“Can o’ corn,” for an easy fly.
“We’ve got a man there,” for a White Sox outfielder making a nice, running catch.
“The dreaded leadoff walk is absolutely killing us.”
“Good pitch, didn’t get it,” when a plate umpire misses a strike call. “We’re not getting any help from this guy.”
All State Insurance: Former Cubs star Kerry Wood reaches into the outfield vines while giving a tour of Wrigley Field, pulls out a cell phone, a French horn and, finally, Andre Dawson, who looks around and says, “What year is this?”
MLB cable has a hilarious 4-5 p.m. weekday show called “Intentional Talk” that players love to watch, especially the last 15 minutes when hosts Chris Rose and Kevin Millar try to break each other up with a screwball feature called “Got Heeeem!”
The Sun-Times’ Rick Morrissey on White Sox slugger Paul Konerko: “Paul is slower than the little hand on a clock.”
Love of the game
Chris Nashawaty, Sports Illustrated:
“Baseball is the closest thing in America to a common religion.”