Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Cubs Show Class With Rings for Santo and Banks...

Kudos Cubs.  Kudos to you, The Ricketts Family.
World Series Rings

In the midst of all the crazy celebration, the pomp, the circumstance at Wrigley Field the last few days, you didn't forget anyone. You rewarded front office members, ushers, broadcasters and even your part-time seasonal workers with World Series rings. That is incredible. 

But more importantly you didn't forget a couple of guys that bled Cubbie Blue their entire lives. 

From Jeff Santo's Facebook Page
What an amazing, heartwarming gesture made to these two fine gentlemen, their families and fans. Such a classy move by the organization.

Both of these All-Star players gave their all, 9 innings at a time for many years in Cubs pinstripes. They are two of the greatest players in the history of the organization and truly deserve this honor.

I couldn't help but get a little choked up at the site of other great Cubs legends that never experienced the ultimate prize, but nonetheless were a huge part of the banner raising and ring ceremony.  Hall of Famers Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg were made to feel as though they were still players by this family run organization. They looked so proud as if they were still playing.  This is how greats of yesteryear should be embraced and appreciated.  They laid the groundwork, built the framework of what was ultimately accomplished after a long long 108 year championship drought.

During the Cubs run to the 2016 World Series, I couldn't help but think of how much I wanted Ron Santo sitting next to me, watching every game.  I imagined the bruises on my arms from him punching me with excitement, or grabbing my shoulder in frustration. Gladly I would have accepted a few games worth of pain to have my friend getting to enjoy it with me.  But seeing how the Cubs honored Ronnie and Ernie made me smile a little through the tears, making it a little easier to take.

I wrote my grandpa's name on the wall
at Wrigley Field
I've gotten to know Ron's children, Ron Junior, Jeff and Linda Santo over the years, I'm so happy for them.  They were all invested deeply in this run to the title for the Cubs. I remember having Jeff on our radio postgame show soon after the final out of Game 7.  He was tearing up with emotion. It was real. It meant a lot. I'm sure his reaction and that of his siblings is much the same tonight thanks to the Cubs organization.

It's funny how the emotional memories of November 2, 2016 came flooding back to so many of us as the flag was raised and several fortunate Cub fans handed over the rings to the players.  For me, thinking about Ron and my late grandfather Sam Masur, the man who made my dad Steve a fan, who in turn passed it on to me.  "Papa" Sammy would have turned 108 years old November 5, 2016.

Thank you Ricketts Family for showing you can win with class. 

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