Thursday, June 16, 2011

Remembering Ronnie Roundup: Reviewing the Ron Santo Book

This past week I have been reading the book Ron Santo: A Perfect Ten, which I finished today. I don't want to spoil the book but I definitely recommend it for any Cubs fans. Author Rich Wolfe teamed up with Ron's partner Pat Hughes to write the book, which was action a collection of stories from those that knew Santo best. Family members, fellow broadcasters and childhood friends are among those that wrote sections of the novel.

On a scale of 1-10, I'd give a perfect ten. There were over 20 people that were interviewed who did not make the book. Wolfe is going to try to include their memories of Ronnie in his next book, For Cub Fans Only, Volume 3. Former teammates such as Ernie Banks, Randy Hundley, Glenn Beckert, Fergie Jenkins and Don Kessinger were among those cut. Fans are encouraged to send their interesting Ron Santo stories to printedpage@cox.net.

Pat Hughes shared his memories during the first chapter of the book. He retold all of his favorite stories and added a few new ones in. Kerry Wood wrote the second section, followed by Ronnie's family members. My favorite section was probably the one written by producer engineer Matt Boltz, who spent ten years with Ronnie in the WGN Radio booth. Boltzy, who looked at Santo as a father figure, had a very unique perspective that previously went untold.

Santo's sister, ex-wife, men's softball teammate and childhood friend all told unique stories as well. John McDonough of the Blackhawks and David Kaplan of WGN Radio described some of the pranks that they would play on Ronnie in the mid-'90s. Other former booth mates such as Bob Brenly, Thom Brennamen, Cory Provus, Judd Sirott and Andy Masur had great tales to tell as well.

The forward was written by Ron Santo, Jr. and titled Namesakes are People Two. The book can be ordered at ronsantobook.com or by visiting a Chicagoland Jewel or Binny's Beverage Depot. I was sad to finish it, but there are still several more Remembering Ronnie dates on our calender to keep in mind:
August 10, 2011- the statue goes up at Wrigley
This Fall- Jeff Santo releases an updated version of This Old Cub.
This Winter- Baseball Voices CD of Ronnie released by Pat Hughes

That's it for now, I will continue to provide Remembering Ronnie Roundups every month or so.

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