Monday, October 31, 2011
#270 - Ron Santo
Santo was pretty successful off the field and while playing he began his own insurance agency - and employed his buddy and teammate Glenn Beckert there - which he later sold. After playing he moved to the broadcast booth and was a Cubs color guy for as long as he could be. In 2010 after a couple amputations his diabetes finally caught up to him and he passed away at age 70 but not before endearing himself to a whole new generation of fans as an announcer and a spokesperson and fund-raiser for his disease. He has another very detailed bio on the SABR site that I have linked to here.
The Traded card is another pretty generic one for which there is no shot at guessing a locale. The artist got pretty lazy this time and didn't even put on a logo.
Nicely, Topps gives Ron props for his fielding, which despite the Gold Gloves, was often overlooked for his offense numbers. Ron grew up near Sicks Stadium in Seattle and worked there as a kid. Sicks would rather infamously be the home of the Seattle Pilots in their initial season.
This trade was sort of a push for both sides. I'd give the edge to the Cubs since Swisher - Nick's dad - would be a quasi-starter and All-Star for them in the mid-'70s. Stone won a bunch that one year but he did that for the Orioles.That last line would unfortunately not be true as Allen's MIA the last month of the season, Melton's drop-off in power, and rundown pitching would keep the Sox from making a big play for the division.
Over in the music world, on October 30, 1973 the Osmonds began a UK tour by being mobbed at the airport by thousands of fans. Wow. That's enough to bring this site back to baseball only.
This trip takes us through both leagues:
1. Santo and Larry Gura '70 to '73 Cubs;
2. Gura and Cookie Rojas '76 to '77 Royals;
3. Rojas and Bob Johnson '70 Royals.