Monday, December 08, 2008

Favorite Things: Day Eight

So in lieu of my regularly scheduled post for today (which still may be coming), yesterday's Chicago Tribune reminded me that today could be a very special day, today, Ron Santo could get into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Santo, former star third baseman for the Chicago Cubs, and their long-time radio colorman is very much a love him or hate him type of guy. Not so much for his play, which by all rational measures, more than qualifies him for the Hall, but his radio work, which if you've ever heard it, pretty much defines homer-hyperbole. Since I became a Cubs fan in my early twenties, it was during the hunt for the National League Wild Card in 1998 that I really came to love Ron Santo's radio calls (along with probably the best play-by-play man in the business, Pat Hughes), an early favorite was in a game vs. the Brewers, with I believe only three games to go in the season, the Cubs just had to win one game to clinch the wild-card. Of course, that's when Brant Brown dropped an easy fly ball in the outfield and gave way to one of my favorite radio calls ever, the text is below, click here for the audio.

HUGHES: "Two down, the Brewers have the bases loaded, and a 2-2 count on the hitter. Here's the pitch. Swung on. Fly ball to left field. Brant Brown going back. Brant Brown ... drops the ball!"

SANTO: "Oh, nooooooooo!"

HUGHES: "He dropped the ball!"

SANTO: "Nooooooooo!"

HUGHES: "Three runs will score, and the Brewers have beaten the Cubs."

I will say though, I owe Brant Brown for that one, without that drop, I would have never gotten the chance to go to the one game playoff between the Cubs and the Giants to decide the wold-card slot. That was easily, if not the best, the most fun, exciting game of baseball that I've attended live. Of course, that's helped by the fact that every post-season game I've attended since, has been lost by the Cubs.

Anyway, due to his....rather overdone calls, Ron catches a lot of shit. Admittedly, he also tends to miss a lot, and he's not always up on what is actually going on in the game, but it's like going to a game with your crazy uncle, most of the time, he's well, crazy, but some days, he's fucking on. Anyway, I love Ron Santo, and in an age when we're all bitching about the assholes who are getting into the HOF, here's a guy who clearly deserves to be in there, and if the veteran's committee has any sense, they'd let him in.

To learn more about Ron Santo, I' recommend checking out the documentary This Old Cub, which details his baseball career, his quest to be inducted into the HOF and his battles with diabetes.

1 comment:

Matt said...

I think it's okay to take baseball a little seriously, but you can't take it TOO seriously. Guys like Ron Santos, Harry Caray, and Ken "Hawk" Harrelson (White Sox play-by-play) remind us that at the end of the day, it's just a game.