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Monday, February 26, 2024

Franklin High Star Ron Santo

 Fandom and it's associated collecting is a strange thing. When I first became a Ron Santo fan I was young boy.  Ron was in his prime, smashing home runs and snagging line drives at the Friendly Confines.  When his career was over, after that sad year on the South Side, I was a only a teen.  Later on I listened to him on the radio and saw him on TV.  Ernie Banks may have copyrighted "Mr. Cub" but I'll argue that Ron Santo was just as worthy of that honor.  When he failed to be elected to the Hall of Fame in life I was sad along with him.  It was bittersweet when he was finally honored posthumously in 2012.  My father, a generation older, like Ronnie, battled diabetes for many years.  He succumbed to it's effects at age 70.  When I learned that Santo had died in early December 2010 at the same age I was nearly as heartbroken.  Now I'm within shouting distance of the age when they both passed.  I miss them both.  Even now I'm still a Ron Santo fan and collector.  

I've only seen one copy of Ron Santo's 1958 Franklin High yearbook come up on Ebay.  I know I bid on it but lost.  About a month ago, before sunrise I received a notification that one had been listed again.  This time it was a Buy It Now and the price being within even my meager budget it took me about three minutes before I clicked the button.

A little research indicates that this copy probably belonged to Joan Akers, now Joan Akers Booms who still appears to be living in Seattle.  The seller takes donations and sells a small percentage of the books to support giving others to hospitals, shelters, teachers and other non-profits. I hope this was not donated by accident.  I'll take good care of it Joan. 
It's interesting to see that Ron's distinctive signature was the same since his teens.

Ron was a star athlete at good old Franklin, playing basketball, football and of course baseball.  I'd show more pictures but I'm afraid of breaking copyrights.  There is one baseball card that features Ron's senior head shot.  In it he's wearing a bow tie, as all the boys did. I don't own a copy.

Ron Santo, born on February 25, 1940 would have turned 84 yesterday.
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