Legendary Cubs Broadcaster Ron Santo Dies

Ron Santo - 1972
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Former player had broadcast until the end, battling severe medical conditions.

Chicago Cubs player and longtime broadcaster Ron Santo died Thursday, Chicago's WGN radio reported.

The station reported that the legendary North Side broadcaster, who covered games for WGN, had lapsed into a coma due to complications from bladder cancer on Wednesday before dying on Thursday.

Santo had vowed to continue covering games despite serious medical conditions which included diabetes that led to leg amputations. He continued reporting on a scaled back schedule through the 2010 season.

"He never complained, he wanted to have fun," said his broadcast partner Pat Hughes. "He wanted to talk baseball."

Despite the team's sad history over the years, Santo never lost his boyish enthusiasm for both the game and the team.

"He considered going to the games therapeutic," said Hughes. "He enjoyed himself right to the end."

Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts released a statement: "My siblings and I first knew Ron Santo as fans, listening to him in the broadcast booth. We knew him for his passion, his loyalty, his great personal courage and his tremendous sense of humor. It was our great honor to get to know him personally in our first year as owners.

Santo said in an interview to The Hollywood Reporter this year:  "Even after a tough loss, as soon as I walk in that ballpark, the energy is there. It's kept me alive. Honestly, I don't think I'd be alive today if I wasn't up in the booth."

Actor James Belushi, an avid Cubs fan, gave this remembrance to THR: "I loved Ron Santo. Chicago loved Ron Santo. All of baseball loved Ron Santo. His number will blow in the wind on that pole in left field of Wrigley Field forever. At every game that anyone attends, they will look up and see Ron. He will be missed, but he will be remembered."