For years, I have always sought your articles as I find your intellectual insight on any topic your write about intriguing. To be honest, you are one of the reasons why I majored in Journalism (never turned out to be anything more than a major) and one of the reasons I still log on to ESPN; I own two of your novels
legend Ron Santo is the best thing I think you have ever written. As a Cubs fan of 31 years (yes I am 31 years old) and a member of the Cubs family as a season ticket holder for 20 years (or my family has
the tickets and I confiscate them and attend games) I woke this morning to learn of the news of Ron's passing. He was the player my Mom most loved as a child and I never knew how much I truly cared
about him until that 6 word text "Ron Santo passed away this morning".
I'm not a very emotional person but I immediately began to sob like a 14 year old boy on steroids. I always questioned whether Ronnie should be in the booth on WGN as Chicago is a top market and we deserve top broadcasters but today I realized for the first time in a while, the radio broadcast had nothing to do with insight on the field or what Santo believed should happen next, it was about the Cubs and Santo managed to put through his emotion as the ultimate fan and broadcast the team. Santo once said being in the Cubs broadcast booth was "therapy" and he didn't believe he would had made it as far as he had without the Cubs. As a Cub fan, I am not sure I would have gotten through the disappointment of Brant Brown dropping the ball, the debacle of 2003 and 2004 and the terrible season we just endured in 2010 without Ron's rants or one off silly statements about his toupee.
It was your article that made me come to the conclusion that Ron Santo is a hall of famer of life and he didn't need baseball as much as baseball needed and will always need someone like him. The Hall of Fame should be ashamed of themselves for not inducting Ron Santo years ago. I'm certain he'll get into the Hall of Fame this season and unfortunately he will be watching from above but every Cub fan, every Cancer survivor, every amputee and every diabetic will be enshrined in Cooperstown with him because Santo was not just a Cub fan and a Cubs legend but a hero to everyone who needed someone to say, "OH NO, you will not quit".
Thank you for listening and thank you again for the wonderful work you do. The Cubs were Ron's therapy and today Gene, you were mine
Dan Starzec Jr.
Thanks for the very kind email. I'm like you--I'm going to miss the lug. He was one of a kind.
As for books, I just finished one on the 1992 Duke-Kentucky game--what I consider the best college game ever played. It will be out next year at this time.