Friday's Birthday Shout-Out: Remembering Ron Santo

2011 will be the first season without Ron Santo in the Chicago Cubs' radio booth. The self-proclaimed "World's Biggest Cub Fan" died in early December after a long, public bout with diabetes.

For all of the great icons in the long history of the Cubs franchise, Santo easily ranks alongside fan favorites like Ernie Banks, Harry Caray, Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg. And because he spent the past two decades as one of the team's beloved broadcasters, it shouldn't overshadow the fact that he was one of the better third basemen ever to play the game - both offensively and defensively.

But it was Santo's ability to connect with not only Cub fans, but fans in general that allowed him to garner such a national identity. For instance, right around the 2:26 mark, Santo engages play-by-play man Pat Hughes into a lengthy and detailed discussion about cake. Yes, it's as funny as you imagine it to be.

As a fan of baseball and especially baseball on the radio, it's sad to see so many of the longtime familiar voices of the game disappearing. Ron Santo will truly be missed by fans everywhere.

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