Ron Santo enters Baseball Hall of Fame

July 22, 2012 (COOPERSTOWN, NY)

A star third baseman for the Chicago Cubs and later a broadcaster for the team, Santo died in December 2010 after a long and courageous battle with bladder cancer.

Santo wanted desperately to see the moment, but with thousands of Cubs fans making the pilgrimage, it was a celebration in Cooperstown.

His journey to the Hall of Fame is finally complete, when the plaque he so wanted to see was presented to his widow, Vicki.

"Words cannot express my sorrow that Ron Santo didn't live to see this day," she said in a heartwarming speech accepting the enshrinement on her husband's behalf. "But this is not a sad day. This is a great day. I'm certain that Ronnie is celebrating right now.

"How he loved the Cubs and the Cubs fans. Really, I want you to know he loved you all so much."

It was a struggle for Santo to get in the hallowed hall and it was a struggle for him to get on the field, given his lifelong battle with diabetes, making him, his career and this moment even more impressive.

"In his legacy, let it be known that here is a man who attained the highest honor his sport can give while playing with an insidious disease," Vicki Santo said.

While there were some tears, it was a feeling of closure and finality.

Santo had his No. 10 retired, his statue now stands at Sheffield and Addison, and now he's finally in the Hall of Fame.

The feeling is that he finally got the recognition he deserved and Cubs fans have to happy about that.

In St. Louis, the Cubs players paid tribute to Santo by clicking their heels together as they jumped over the third-base line to start the game.

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