Five years ago, if the Cubs were looking for one person to be the official president of the team's fan club, Ron Santo would have been an obvious choice.
He spent more than two decades as a color commentator on WGN Radio for the Cubs and 14 years prior to that as arguably the best third baseman in franchise history.
During that time, Santo was one of the more entertaining personalities, always wearing his emotions on his sleeve -- even on air -- which has led to some hilarious stories.
As the late Santo was voted into the Hall of Fame this past weekend, we caught up with some of his former teammates, colleagues and fans as they relayed some of their favorite Santo stories:
Vicki Santo -- widow
"In 2001, Ron lost a leg, amputated because of complications with diabetes. It had been a terrible fight. Ten operations in 10 months. The next year, he had a sore on the other foot and was faced with a decision. After weighing the odds of a full recovery and no recurrence, he decided to go with a second amputation.
"As the nurse was wheeling him into the operating room, I heard him tell the doctor that the timing was perfect for this operation because he could be back for Opening Day. That's true. Only Ron. That's what was on his mind -- getting ready to broadcast Cubs baseball on Opening Day."
Pat Hughes -- broadcast partner
Hughes worked alongside Santo for 15 years in the booth and has countless stories at his disposal.
--One such story -- maybe the best of the bunch -- was when Brant Brown dropped a fly ball in a crucial game up in Milwaukee. As many Cubs fans know, Ron Santo screamed "OH NOOO!!" on air after Brown's misplay.
As Hughes tells it, after the game, Santo couldn't let it go, saying over and over again, "how does he drop the ball in that situation?!"
At one point, then-Cubs manager Jim Riggleman came over to Santo, how was still distraught, put his arm around the broadcaster and ensured him the Cubs would get 'em again the next day.
"That may have been the first time in American sports history that a manager consoled a broadcaster after a loss," Hughes said.
--In 2003, the Cubs retired Santo's No. 10 jersey with an emotional ceremony at Wrigley Field. Illinois declared that day the official "Ron Santo Day" in the state and gave Santo a proclamation stating that fact.
Early on in the booth, Hughes recalled how Santo was eating scrambled eggs and as the Cubs got a big hit, he spilled eggs on the proclamation. A little later, the Cubs scored again and Santo spilled his coffee on the proclamation. He also almost used it as a napkin, and told Hughes later that he had no idea what happened to that important document.
--Also, in 2003, Hughes recalls maybe the most famous of Santo's stories.
The Cubs were in New York to face the Mets, a bitter rival of Santo's from back in his playing days. Santo was famous for wearing a hairpiece and since it was early April, the weather was still chilly, so there was a space-heater in the booth.
As Santo was standing for the National Anthem, Hughes heard a little sizzling and smelled burning only to look over and see Santo's hairpiece on fire with smoke billowing out from the top of his head.
"So I did what any good partner would do," Hughes recounts. "I tossed a cup of water on his head."
--At the Fan Fest on Saturday in Cooperstown, Hughes told the story of his first broadcast with Santo in spring training down in Arizona. He and Santo talked the night before about how nervous Hughes was.
After Hughes made it through the first half inning without a hitch, Santo was ecstatic.
"Ron stands up -- he was sitting right next to me in the booth -- and he has this look of absolute joy on his face. The same look that he must have had when one of his teammates made a diving catch or when Ernie Banks hit a game-winning three-run homer.
"It's that combination of a senior citizen and a happy 10-year-old kid. He had this look on his face and he shakes my hand saying 'Great job! Great job!' and I'm thinking 'this is after only one half-inning of Cactus League baseball. Opening Day is still over a month away.'
"But he had this enthusiasm about him. He just loved everything about the Cubs and Wrigley Field and Cubs fans."
Glenn Beckert -- Santo's teammate and roomate for nine years
Beckert has some of the best stories from Santo's playing days, including the time when Santo was receiving death threats from angry baseball fans. As the two men were going to sleep in a hotel room one night, Beckert put a sign up in the room saying "Santo sleeps here" and another one above his own bed with "Beckert sleeps here" written on it.
"I wanted to make sure they knew which bed was his and which bed was mine," Beckert joked.
--"One day, we're playing Philadelphia and Ronnie hits a three-run homer to put us ahead," Beckert recounts. "And the fans stand up in Philadelphia and start applauding. And he comes up to me and says 'Rooms, I never had a crowd on the road stand and applaud like that.' I said 'Rooms, unfortunately, it's not for you. Look at the scoreboard -- man just stepped on the moon.'"
--Beckert also recalls the story when he walked in on Santo -- a diabetic who hid his disease from his teammates during his playing career -- shooting up with insulin in the bathroom.
Beckert was struggling at the plate at the time and Santo was hitting well over .300, so like a good teammate, Beckert said "Rooms, whatever that is, gimme some of that."
We caught up with several Cubs fans at the Fan Fest in Cooperstown this weekend. Here are some of their favorite memories:
--David Kilstein: The Brant Brown call in '98.
--Raymond Duncan: The Brant Brown call in '98.
--David Carboni: First Cubs game with his father seeing Santo play at the Polo Grounds.
--Phil Ronald Santos (yes, that's his actual name): Hearing Santos' reaction when Kerry Wood got the save to clinch the 2008 division title.
--Fred Jolly: Seeing Santo run in to celebrate with Ken Holtzman after the pitcher's no-hitter.
--Raymond Duncan III: Santo's calls and passion on the air.
--Bonnie McLean: Watching Santo click his heels together after a Cubs win.
What is your favorite Ron Santo story? Share with us in the comment section below, and we'll update this post with each of your favorite memories.