Ron Santo

Santo made his major-league debut on June 26, 1960, and remained the Cubs’ third baseman for nearly 14 years. Emotional and sometimes hot-tempered, he played with a visible desire to win. His best overall season was 1964, when he hit .313, with 30 homers, 114 RBI, and a league-leading 13 triples. He followed with three more seasons of 30 or more home runs and twice more topped 100 RBI. He led the NL in walks four times. In 1966 Santo enjoyed a 28-game hitting streak, and in 1967 he set a record (since broken) with 393 assists at third base. A fine defensive third baseman, he won five Gold Gloves. He topped NL third basemen in putouts seven times, assists seven times, and double plays four times.

When the Cubs made their ill-fated run for the pennant in 1969, Santo became one of the team’s cheerleaders by clicking his heels after every victory at Wrigley Field. Although some writers called it “bush,” the victory dance was a hit with Cubs fans, until the team stopped winning. By the end of the year there was no more heel clicking.

Santo worked as a Cubs broadcaster after retirement. Having suffered from diabetes since the age of 18, his circulation problems eventually forced the amputation of the lower half of his right leg in 2001.