Santo; Injustice; Service Dogs; Diabetes

Cubs retired flag for Ron SantoImage via Wikipedia

You may have to read for a while, but this post does have something to do with kids (and adults) with disabilities.

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I have one sports addiction- I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs.  The Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908.  They have not even been in the World Series since 1945.  It has been suggested to me that we have our own category in the DSM-IV, something along the lines of "delusional optimist."  Cub fans generally learn patience, to root for the underdog, the little guy, to appreciate small victories.

So it was with great delight that I learned on Monday that Ron Santo had been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  It was one of the great injustices in the history of sports that Ron Santo had been previously denied HOF status.  He was the heart and soul of the Chicago Cubs.  He could hit and field.  Spoiler alert...if you hate sports statistics skip to the next paragraph... He was one of the best third basemen of all time.  He had 2,254 hits, 342 homers and 1331 runs batted in.  He got theses hits while facing pre-Expansion era pitchers, scary people like Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale. He also won five Gold Gloves as the best fielding third baseman in the national league. 

After his playing career, he became one of the radio broadcasters for the Cubs.  His keen insights and honest appraisals were refreshing and fun.  He described the game with the same gusto with which he played the game.  

It was a travesty that he had not previously been inducted.  A serious injustice has now been righted, unfortunately a year after Ronnie died. But now the world is a more just place.

What many  people did not know was that Santo achieved everything while having Diabetes.  Santo played a major league sport at the top level while battling blood sugar problems.  He became an advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund after he stopped playing. He found corporations who would contribute every time a Cub played drew a walk or got a hit; who else could do that?   He raised more than 60 Million Dollars for JDRF.  He wanted people to know that you can live with, and succeed despite, having Diabetes.

After Ron Santo died, his family learned about Alert Service Dogs.  Apparently there are service dogs that can warn people when their blood sugar is either high or low.  As I have said here before, service dogs are truly amazing.  The Santo family is now trying to get the work out about these blood sugar sensitive service dogs.
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