I am not, nor have I ever been, a Cubs fan.
Doesn't mean I won't pause today to remember the passing of a great one, Ron Santo.
Santo, 70, died Thursday in Arizona after a lifelong battle with Type 1 diabetes, and even if you're not a Cubs fan it's worth appreciating just how much he was beloved by his adopted city of Chicago. Santo was Chicago, frankly. And he was certainly the Cubs -- and never mind that last season in '74 when he crossed over to the dark side and played for the White Sox.
What hit me most about Santo's passing, though, was how much I miss those old WGN Cubs telecasts with Jack Brickhouse behind the mike.
Every time Santo or another Cub hit one out, Brickhouse would unleash his trademark "Hey-Hey!", and then the words "Hey-Hey" would, in the crude graphics of the time, flash on your TV screen as the Cub rounded the bases. It was unapologetically cheesy, and yet somehow so singularly Cubs you couldn't help but love it. You could never imagine, say, the snooty Yankees doing anything like it -- much to their detriment.
So that's what I remember about Santo today. That, and the supreme irony that a man so adored by his city would have passed the same night another man (LeBron James) was being vilified by his city. Because if he'd stayed, he, too, could have been Ron Santo in Cleveland.
No matter how many rings he wins or how many beatdowns he lays on the Cavaliers, LeBron will never have that now. And be much the poorer for it.