Santo dedicated a vast majority professional career to the Cubs. The adventure started at age 20 when he signed with the Chicago National League team in 1959. The Seattle native played with the team for 14 seasons before he went to the Chicago White Sox for his final season. He retired after the 1974 season. He was presented with four Gold Glove awards, and despite playing with players like Ernie Banks and Fergie Jenkins, he never had the chance to play in the post-season. His number, 10, was retired by the Cubs in 2003.
In 1990, the nine time All-Star became the voice of his beloved Cubs when he became a game time radio broadcaster. The team’s ups and downs gave his his trademark sayings like “ohh nooo” when the players got themselves into a pickle. He was the biggest and most loved Cubs fan of them all.
Santo was diagnosed with Diabetes at age 18, but it didn’t stop him from doing what he loved. He hid his aliment from fans, teammates and for a short period of time, the team doctor. Both of his legs were amputated after more than a dozen surgeries. He founded the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to assist doctors in finding a cure for the disease.
“This flag hanging down the left-field line means more to me than the Hall of Fame,” Santo told the cheering crowd at Wrigley Field when his number was retired.