By Edward M. Bury, APR, aka the PRDude
My loyal readers — you’re out there, aren’t you? — have probably wondered what happened to the PRDude. No posts for weeks, none so far this month. Did he run out of opinions and ideas? Did he just give up blogging? Did he abandon public relations?
The answers: No, no, and no.
There are two reasons why I’ve been remiss in adding posts to my blog:
- I’ve been busy with my “real” job. As chronicled in my October 17 post, I landed an outstanding new full-time position. The past seven weeks have been enlightening and fulfilling, and to some extent challenging and exhausting — all in a good way. I hit the ground running. This left little time to conceive ideas and post them here.
- I found it’s really hard to develop and execute ideas based on my new theme, “The Lighter Side of Public Relations, Marketing & Communications.” It ain’t easy trying to be funny. My deepest respect to Mark Twain, who pioneered humorous prose, and more modern masters like the late Art Buchwald and P.J. O’Rourke, who have kept the craft alive and well.
The Classic Mark Twain -- Looking East.
The Pensive Art Buchwald.
The Jester, P.J. O'Rourke.
So, I’ve decided to augment the theme of this blog with “other stuff.” Very obtuse, I know. But I’ll try to offer perspectives on politics (can’t wait f0r the retrial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to start next year) and popular culture (there will always be Lady Gaga, the Situation and Real Housewives to tackle).
This is a fine segue into thoughts on the late Ron Santo, former Chicago Cubs legendary third baseman, radio baseball color commentator, perennial shutout from the Baseball Hall of Fame and champion for raising money and awareness for research into juvenile diabetes.
Ron Santo, Iconic Chicago Cubs Third Baseman, at Wrigley Field.
Mr. Santo died December 2 from cancer. But he battled diabetes and other health problems all his life with the same ferocity as an at bat against a mean hurler like Don Drysdale or Bob Gibson. Sportswriters have offered lots of words on Santo as a player, broadcaster and human being. He’s been heralded for his outstanding statistics on the field of play, for playing pro ball for 15 years with diabetes, for his scrappy, combative at times attitude on and off the field, and for his heartfelt, if at times loony, commentary in the WGN-AM radio booth.
As a North Side Chicago kid and life-long Cubs fan, I followed Santo his entire career (except for his final season with the White Sox; but that’s another topic). I have memories of rooting for Santo and the Cubs at games played only in sunshine at Wrigley Field during the 1960s, when 12,000 was a big crowd.
One thing stood out: Ron Santo was a leader. In fact, he was the last true leader the Chicago Cubs have had between the baselines.
He was not afraid to stand down a fellow player, an umpire, the manager or an opposing pitcher. And, as I’ve learned, from another perspective, Santo was the guy you wanted to watch your back. Along with the Gold Gloves (five), batting average (.277), hits (2,254), homers (342) and RBIs (1,331), Ron Santo knew a team — like a company, a cause, a country — needs a leader, one who can make a decision and live with the consequences.
Santo was a character who had a lot of character. Perhaps the keepers of the Baseball Hall of Fame will now finally recognize that and enshrine Santo in Cooperstown posthumously. True, Santo never led the Chicago Cubs to the World Series, or even the post season. But he won just about every day of his life.