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CHICAGO (CBS) — Hundreds gathered outside Wrigley Field as the Cubs unveiled a statue of former third baseman and longtime radio broadcaster Ron Santo on Wednesday.
WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports that Santo’s family; his longtime radio partner Pat Hughes; and former Cubs greats Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins were all on hand for the unveiling.
The bronze statue of Santo, depicting him making a throw from third base and wearing a blue Cubs hat and matching socks, now stands at the corner of Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports
Most fans say they believe the late Ron Santo should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. While that hasn’t happened yet, Hughes said Santo would have been overwhelmed by the honor of getting a statue at Wrigley Field.
“When you think about it, this is the ultimate honor that a ballplayer can have bestowed upon him – to have a statue in his likeness forever on the grounds of the ballpark,” Hughes said.
Santo’s groans for Cubs miscues and childlike exuberance when the team did something good led many people to believe Santo was the heart and soul of the Cubs.
Santo died of at the age of 70 on Dec. 3 of last year. A nine-time All-Star in his 15-year career, Santo hit .277 with 342 homers and 1,331 RBIs. He was 86th all time in homers, 87th all time in RBIs, was a nine–time All-Star, and also won the Gold Glove award five times.
He becomes the fourth person with a statue of his likeness outside Wrigley, joining Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Harry Caray.
Santo’s long battle with diabetes cost him both legs below the knees.