2/25 “You don’t replace Ronnie”
Tuesday would’ve been Ron Santo’s 74th birthday. His latest replacement on WGN Radio, Ron Coomer, was at the Cubs’ Spring Training complex to prep for his first season in the broadcast booth.
Coomer, 47, is replacing analyst and former Cubs player Keith Moreland, and will join play-by-play man Pat Hughes. And Coomer has nothing but respect for Santo, who was doing the Cubs broadcasts when Coomer played for the Cubs in 2001.
“You don’t replace Ronnie,” Coomer said of Santo. “I’m not looking to be the next ‘Pat and Ron’ show. Hopefully, I can just do my job.”
Coomer received a No. 10 honoring Santo after a fantasy camp, and it’s hanging up in his pool room at home. He attended Lockport (Ill.) Township High School, and still has links on the south side of Chicago. Coomer expects his favorite sandwich place, Parisi’s, to deliver to Wrigley Field. He also has some Santo stories to share with listeners. They talked about playing third several times.
“We were headed to Cincinnati, and he came walking to the back to the plane and says, ‘Hey, big boy, what are you doing tonight?'” said Coomer, who knew he’d be talking baseball with Santo that evening.
“He was a legend,” Coomer said of Santo.
— Carrie Muskat