Ron Santo Biography
Claim to Fame: Baseball Player
Date of Birth: February 25, 1940
Date of Death: December 2, 2010
Diabetes Type: 1
Quote: "Doing the Cubs games is like therapy for me."
Ron Santo was born on February 25, 1940 in Seattle, Washington. He began his baseball career with the Chicago Cubs on June 26, 1960. He went on to play 15 seasons with the team as an infielder and was selected to the All-Star Team four seasons in a row. In 1966, Santo was on track to eclipse the team's consecutive game-hitting streak, but unfortunately he was hit by a pitch at the plate that fractured his cheekbone. Despite the injury, Santo went on to break the record.
Early in his career, Santo discovered that he had type 1 diabetes. He judged his blood sugar levels by his mood, eating chocolate or a snack when he felt his blood sugar was low. He kept his condition a secret until August 28, 1971, also known as Ron Santo Day. Santo was given a life expectancy of 25 years after his diagnosis at the age of 18, but by the end of his accomplished career, the Cub was an All-Star nine times and also a five-time Golden Glove recipient. Tragically, due to his complications with diabetes, Santo was forced to have both of his legs amputated below the knee in a series of procedures in 2001 and 2002.
Santo's jersey was retired in 2003, and although he has not yet been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he has come very close in recent years. Ron Santo surmounted the difficulties of diabetes, and spent his later years as a broadcaster for the Chicago Cubs on WGN radio. He also endorsed the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's annual Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes since 1974, and has raised over $50 million for the foundation. In December of 2010, at age 70, Santo passed away from complications of bladder cancer.
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