CHICAGO (CBS) — The hearse carrying Ron Santo’s body took one last trip through the city he loved and past his home away from home, Wrigley Field.
There, hundreds of fans lined the street near the ballpark and gave the Cubs legend one last standing ovation, CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.
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As the funeral procession got ready to circle the Friendly Confines, fans started singing, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” When the hearse — adorned with two number 10 flags — stopped in front of Wrigley for Santo’s final goodbye, the cheers grew even louder.
“I just wanted to pay tribute to him because he touched my life growing up, listening to him on the radio. I just wanted to say thank you,” Santo fan Rob Gray said.
Many stood at the growing memorial to Santo at the Wrigley entrance. Some bowed their heads in a somber tribute. Others shed tears.
Juan Luna’s father passed away from cancer — the same disease that claimed Santo’s life.
“I remember as a kid watching the games with him, and he’d always be cheering for Ron Santo,” Luna said as tears rolled down his cheeks. “And I just had to be here.”
Margie Taylor met Santo on June 21, 1969. She documented that moment in black-and-white photos.
“Ron Santo used to park his car at the gas station, across from Cubs park,” she said. “We’d take pictures, talk to him, get his autograph. He was really nice.”
The ultimate Cub fan, Ronnie “Woo Woo” Wickers also gave his tribute.
“We miss you, Ron,” he said.
Many spoke of how inspiring Santo was in his fight against diabetes. Fans also say the best way to honor Santo would be for the Cubs to win the World Series and to erect a statue in his memory at Wrigley.