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Old 12-21-2001, 12:30 PM   #16
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Default Ron Santo - A Great Guy

I've never liked Ron Santo too much as an announcer and being 34 I don't have vivid memories of his career, so I never gave him much more than a passing thought. With his recent problems related to his diabetes I have learned a lot more about him.

He raises a ton of money for juvenile diabetes, a large portion of which comes from his annual walk for diabetes. But he is much more involved than just lending his name & showing up at a few charity events. Almost every home day game(there's 63 of them at Wrigley) he visits with diabetic children on the field. My sister told me last night that her sons 9 year old cousin favorite baseball player was Ron Santo. She said it was because when he learned he was a diabetic at age 6 and was hospitalized for several days, Santo came to the hospital & visited him, and invited him to visit him on the field before a game as soon as he got home. It was a huge highlight for a 6 year old, and even more important, he became instantly became a Cubs fan. His family is from the South Side, so we are happy to have him with us. The coolest thing about this story is that no one from his family solicited Santo to talk to this kid, he periodically gets the names of sick kids & visits them in the hospital.

When he has been interviewed this week, he has shifted talk away from himself, preferring to talk about the sick kids with diabetes, spending Christmas at home with his grandson Sammy, or the Alou signing. Basically anything but himself.

I don't know if Santo will get into the HOF in Cooperstown(I hope so), but if there is a Hall of Fame for being a great guy & role model for people, Santo has been in for a long time. This is a great guy and thanks for letting me ramble.
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Old 12-21-2001, 04:58 PM   #17
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Nice post. Thanks for the added sprinkling of hope and humanity (hope *for* humanity?) for the holiday season.

It should be noted that *lots* of ballplayers do lots of nice things for lots of people...but mostly it is just the big paychecks and on-field and off-field tirades and shinnanigans (sp?) that make the headlines.

It should also be noted just how *easy* it is for MLB to make fans -- players visiting hospitals builds fans from the kids...but things as simple as tossing batting practice balls into the stands, signing a few autographs, and personally answering a fan letter or two can forge instant and long-lasting bonds. Something for Baseball to think about....
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Old 12-24-2002, 09:58 PM   #18
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Now, a year later, almost to the day, it gets worse............

12/23/2002 11:35 am ET
Santo has left leg amputated
By Carrie Muskat /

CHICAGO -- One year after having his right leg amputated because of complications with diabetes, Chicago Cubs radio broadcaster Ron Santo had his left leg amputated, as well.
Santo, 62, underwent surgery Friday at a Phoenix-area hospital.

"I was hoping it would never come to this," Santo told WGN radio Friday, a few hours before the surgery.

On Dec. 15, 2001, Santo's right leg was amputated below the knee. At that time, he developed a bruise on his left heel. Santo returned to the broadcast booth, only missing a few Cubs games, and the bruise seemed to be healing. But it developed into an ulcer, something diabetics have to watch carefully.

"What you worry about with ulcers with diabetics is that no matter what, you don't know what they're going to do," Santo said. "They may look like they may be healing and then they go stagnant, and then you have a problem again."

Santo received treatment, and doctors had hoped it would heal by Spring Training. But then he developed another sore on his left foot and doctors thought it would heal in three months.

"But, again, you don't know," Santo said. "When you've got a 65 percent chance -- and I don't want to lose my other leg. But I also know I've done well with my [right] leg.

"I decided I wanted to get on with my life. I'm 62 years old. My decision was I'd rather get on with my life and go with the second prosthesis, and that's my decision and I'm being operated on [Friday].

"I really do feel that I got through the first one, and I feel very confident. This was my decision. I feel very confident I'll get by this one, too."

The left leg amputation was also below the knee, just as it was on his right leg. Santo will have to find the prosthesis maker who created the right leg for him. His right prosthesis is decorated with a Cubs pinstriped uniform, team and Santo's No. 10.

Before he had the right leg amputated, Santo underwent more than eight operations to try to save his leg. He didn't want to go through that again.

"What all diabetics are concerned about is that the foot is very fragile," Santo said. "I could heal in three months but then all of a sudden scrape it, and here I am in the same boat. The inevitable is going to happen."

He said most diabetics who lose a limb eventually lose another one within one to five years.

"It's one of those things that you can't sit back and say, 'Why is this happening?' because there's nothing you can do," Santo said. "I've had this disease all my life.

"I still feel strong that I have my health. At least I have a crutch -- when I say a crutch, it's having my right leg. It's not like I'm getting two legs off at the same time. There's no doubt in my mind that if everything goes all right [Friday], I'll be walking by Spring Training."

Fans wishing to send Santo get well wishes can do so at the following address:

Ron Santo
c/o WGN Radio
435 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
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Old 12-25-2002, 08:42 PM   #19
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How sad. My prayers go out to him and his family for a speedy recovery.
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Old 12-30-2002, 07:36 PM   #20
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If I could say a word to Ron it would be that .....anything he did with one leg and a prosthetic, he could do with two prosthetic. The sadder cases are the men who will die saying, "I came in this world with 2 legs and I will die with 2 legs."

The eight operations he went thought to save the first leg was an awful ordeal. The rehab process will be much easier with the second prosthetic and he will be doing the Cub games by Spring Training. Best of Luck!
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Old 12-30-2002, 08:07 PM   #21
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I also wish him the best. I have minimal exposure to diabetic amputation via my grandmothers ... never a good thing, but it may be better than fighting a losing battle.
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Old 12-31-2002, 12:38 AM   #22
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Best wishes for a speedy recovery - it's never easy being diabetic but medical advances continue to be made and someday this scourge will be conquered
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