Click (June 22, 1969)
Hall of Fame" Ron never
made secret his desire to be admitted into Cooperstown, but each time he
was passed over, he handled his disappointment with class and not
bitterness. Watch “This Old Cub” — an acclaimed 2004 documentary
about Ronnie directed by his son, Jeff — and you’ll see his evident
heartbreak in 2003 when he got the call, in front of a room full of
reporters and photographers, that no one had earned enough votes to be
elected by the Veterans Committee. He blinked back the tears, and
during an interview immediately afterwards, he credited the fans for
giving him the strength to get through yet another disappointment. When
the Cubs retired his number in 2003, he emotionally declared, “This is
my Hall of Fame.” And he meant it.
Cat On September 9, 1969, the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets faced
each other at Shea Stadium. The Cubs' division lead over the Mets had
dropped to just 1.5 games, and this game was considered to be critical.
Midway through the game, fans surreptitiously released a black cat onto
the field. The cat headed straight for the Cubs' Ron Santo in the on-deck
circle, then made a beeline for the Cubs' dugout where it seemed to stare
down all of the players. Cubs manager Leo Durocher's superstitions were
borne out, as the Cubs not only lost that game, but much of the rest of
the season, as they would post an 8-17 record for the month and ultimately
lose the National League East to the Mets by eight games. Ronnie
hated going to Shea from that point on.