Santo signed with the Cubs at age 20 team in 1959. The Seattle native played on the north side for 14 seasons before he was shipped to the Chicago White Sox for his final season. He retired after the 1974 season.
Major League Baseball awarded Santo with four Gold Gloves. Despite sharing the stage with players like Ernie Banks and Fergie Jenkins, he never made a post-season appearance. 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 started as a game time radio broadcaster. The team’s ups and downs gave his his trademark sayings like “ohh nooo” as he expressed his breaking heart. He was the biggest and most loved Cubs fan.
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. After multiple surgeries, both of Santo’s legs were amputated. 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.