I woke up early this morning on the West Coast and started the normal routine. Flip a light, start making coffee and fire up the radio.

In my half-awake state, I heard the final sentences of a topic on The Dan Patrick Show on FOX Sports Radio. I heard the words “Hall of Fame posthumously.” It didn’t take much to deduce that he was talking about former Chicago Cubs third baseman and longtime broadcaster Ron Santo. Santo was a fixture in the booth and the Chicago community, a great ambassador for the team who wore his heart on his sleeve. Of course, he’s also in the discussion for the title of “the best player not in the Hall of Fame.”

Santo finished his 15-year career (14 in Cubby blue and one on the other side of town) with 342 home runs, 1,331 RBI, five Gold Gloves and nine All-Star appearances. Despite these numbers and accomplishments, Santo never appeared on more than 43.1% of ballots cast for the Hall of Fame, something that certainly weighed on him heavily.

Whatever you thought of his homer-ism and overall performance in the booth, you couldn’t deny his love of the game or his team. That will be missed when the Cubs return to action in the spring.