In the year of our father two thousand, a young Pronk met one of his heroes, the late, great Ron Santo. He was signing autographs at a baseball card show, and my dad was able to get us there. I had to wait half an hour, but it was totally worth it to a 12 year old kid.
So, yes, I called him a hero, even though his career ended before my parents had reached my age at the time. Growing up, we had terrible rural TV. I could pick up games... sometimes. My primary way to get the Cubs was actually over the radio. And even at a young age, I appreciated and loved Pat Hughes's and Ron Santo's coverage. They were witty, smart, and worked well together. In 1998, I got to hear Ron's infamous Brant Brown drop "OH NO" call. The Cubs lost that game, but I was laughing so hard because I had no idea that announcers could get so emotional.
He was full of insight, and helped me learn about the game. It was a shame that he wasn't here to see the 2016 championship.
I miss you Ronnie. Thanks for being a part of my childhood.