Friday, December 10, 2010

Exciting Celebrity Encounters: Ron Santo and Glenn Beckert


     In January 1972, my Dad took me to meet Ron Santo and Glenn Beckert of the Cubs, who were signing autographs at the Nelson Marine store in Des Plaines (the store is still there, at the southwest corner of River Road and Rand Road, virtually unchanged except for its name, which escapes me). As you will deduce from the photos, the appearance of Santo and Beckert was intended to help the store sell snowmobiles.
     I was only ten years old and not in the market for a snowmobile. But I was excited to meet two of my sports heroes, and they did not disappoint. Santo and Beckert couldn't have been nicer. My Dad was glad he brought me, and I think he got as big a kick out of meeting the two All-Stars as I did.
     Santo and Beckert were roommates on Cubs road trips--a quaint notion today when star players get their own suites--and they remained close friends until Santo passed away last week. I never met either of them again, but I've saved their autographs for almost four decades. So they both remained friends to me, too.


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