Chicago Cubs icon Ron Santo has passed away due to complications in his struggle against bladder cancer, according to WGN Radio.

Santo was a great third baseman for the Cubs from 1960 to 1973 and later became part of the Cubs radio team in 1990.

Regarded as one of the best players to never earn induction into the MLB Hall of Fame, Santo was a nine time All-Star in his 15 major league seasons.

Santo was one of the most passionate Cubs fans, but like many others, he was not lucky enough to witness the Cubbies win the World Series. Santo explained his devotion for the Cubs to the Associated Press in August of 2009, “The emotion for me is strictly the love I have for this team. I want them to win so bad.”

Santo battled a number of medical ailments as a player and also in retirement. He was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 18 and up until his death he was in a fight with cancer.

Santo would not let diabetes prevent him from achieving his dream of becoming a major league baseball player, and he did not reveal to the Cubs he had the disease, until he made his first All-Star appearance in 1963.

In 2003, the Cubs retired his No. 10 jersey, placing it just below fellow Cubs legend Ernie Banks‘ No. 14. During his number retiring ceremony, Santo told the fans at Wrigley Field, “This flag hanging down the left-field line means more to me than the Hall of Fame.”

Year after year, Santo did not receive the call to the Hall of Fame, and this constant rejection brought the fans closer to him.

In his 15 seasons, Santo hit .277, amassed 2,254 hits, hit 342 home runs and scored 1,331 runs. He was a consistent player who was among the best of his era nearly his entire career.

His stats make him very worthy of admission into the Hall and even though his teams failed to make the postseason, it certainly wasn’t because of him.

Santo’s undying passion for his Cubs was evident through his final days and he’ll always be a fan favorite in Chicago.

In an article, last updated on December 3rd, 2010, current Cubs general manager Jim Hendry explains the man Ron Santo was.

“Ron Santo was one of the finest men—and toughest men—I’ve ever known,” Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said. “He was a credit to the game and a model of what a person should be like, always giving back to others his entire life.”

Ron Santo was a great player and would have loved to receive the phone call inviting him to the hall of fame. 

For the Baseball Writers of America, it’s time to make this right. Put Ron Santo where he belongs:

In Cooperstown with the other all-time greats of baseball.

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