When you think of the Chicago Cubs, you might think of goats and curses, of yuppies and cell phones, or of fans that never stop believing, “This is our year!” You might think about the seasons that almost were, or the seasons that were so painful to watch it was like pouring paint thinner into a knife wound.
Yeah. You’ll think about those a lot.
But, one thing you can’t fail to connect to the Cubbies and their years of pain and almost glory, is former player, baseball icon, and Cubs radio announcer, Ron Santo. His familiar voice entertained listeners with play-by-plays that often consisted of, “Well…oh, oh, lookee there, oh boy!” And, “Oh nooooo! Oh man!” But, you (almost) always knew exactly what he meant. He was the ultimate fan with his heart gaping open on his sleeve — bleeding Cubbie blue.
Whether you found his banter endearing or cringe-worthy, there is no disputing his devotion for the game, the Cubs, or for a job that he loved so much it often rendered him at a loss for words.
Yes, he loved what he did, and we loved him for it.
How many people can say they truly love what they do? Not too many, I would guess. Most people have this little thing they have to keep in check called “money,” and doing what they love doesn’t always pay very well. Or, at all. If only we could all find the joy of Ron Santo. In a 4′ by 4′ cubicle. Behind the sandwich counter. Writing at a desk.
Sometimes, if there’s no joy to be found, you have to create it yourself.
So, this morning when my husband somberly announced to my baseball-loving son, “Hey buddy…I think Ron Santo died,” and I saw my son’s eyes well up a little bit, I knew he was going to miss hearing that joy. And, I hoped that he — that all of us — would find such happiness in what we do. Even among the drudgery. Even among the have-to’s, and should-have’s.
This may be another huge loss for the Cubbies, and one of the hardest yet; but in true Cubbie form we’ll bounce back. This will be our year! For Ron.
How’s that for some joy?
*Find me on Twitter @amandahoving
Note: Thanks for allowing me to go a little off-topic today. We’ll be back to books and writing on Monday~