If You Ever Get The Chance

...to meet Ron Santo, I encourage you to take the time to do so.

For those not familiar with Ron Santo, he played 3rd base for the Chicago Cubs and one year with the Chicago White Sox. Now, he is a radio broadcaster for the Cubs.

He was diagnosed as a Type 1 when he turned 18 years young and was told he had only 25 years to live (sheesh!). For most of his baseball career, he hid his battle with Diabetes from the public and the media. If you want to see more about him, check out a documentary called, "This Old Cub". It's great.

Anyway, I was looking at the news of the Hall of Fame voting and was thinking of Santo. IMO, he belongs in the HoF for many reasons. I had the chance to meet Mr. Santo at a local event about ten years ago and was amazed by his genuine good nature. I was in line to get an autograph and noticed he was making small talk with everyone he was talking to. (SIDE NOTE: I always feel like I'm bothering celebs whenever I talk to them because they are used to the same old questions and discussions over and over again.)

Finally, it was my turn to talk with Mr. Santo. I think the first thing I said was, "Mr. Santo, my name is Rick. I am a type 1 diabetic, too. How are your blood sugars doing?" I felt like that may have been the worst thing to say, at the time. I figured, "Who would want to talk about a medical condition?"

He shook my hand, gave it a firm squeeze and swung his arm around me with his other arm. He said, "I'm in great shape! How are you doing with yours?" He couldn't have been any more comforting. He continued to ask which insulin I was on, how I liked my meter, if I was dieting and exercising, etc. The people in line behind me were respectful and patient (which I was very thankful for). He must have talked to me for a good five or six minutes, but it felt like hours. To this day, no one has been as welcoming and warm as he was. Those five or six minutes continue to give me compassion for anyone that wants to talk about anything they may be going through. Mr. Santo may be the coolest celebrity I have ever met.

And, as an added bonus, Mr. Santo has helped raise over $50 million for JDRF. He is a huge asset to the organization and continues to raise awareness and funds, daily.

So, if you ever see an event that Ron Santo is attending, I highly recommend you take the time to do so. You'll be grateful that you did. I know I am. Thanks, Mr. Santo.

Now I want to read all about him-Thank you for sharing !

I really hope that I get a chance to meet him now, I think support from everyone is something everyone needs.

Meme & Cassie, you won't be disappointed. He believed in JDRF and finding a cure for type 1s. If you do ever meet him, or see the documentary, let me know what you think. I want to know if people get the same feeling I do from him, or if I am just being all warm and fuzzy because of how great he treated me.

Enjoy your stay, Rick

Ralfe1315 - Thanks for posting and I couldn't agree more.   I met him 30 years ago not too long after I was diagnosed.  I had no idea who he was but he came to my small town in central California and my father said we were going.  There were only about 20 people there to listen to him talk about diabetes.  I loved baseball (still do) so I was excited to meet him.  We waited until everyone left, most didn't stick around and he spent about 20-30 minutes talking to me about baseball and what to do for lows and his experiences being low and swinging at the middle ball of the three that were coming toward the plate.   I was born in Chicago but moved before I even remember, however, after meeting Mr. Santo, I became a Cubs and Ron Santo fan for life.    He kept telling me that I could do whatever I wanted and to keep playing sports.  For a guy like that to sit down with a 9 year old and just chat  is huge.    I hope the veterans committee gets him in to the HOF sooner than later!