Ron Santo's Secret on the Field

The inspiring story behind his struggle with diabetes—and letting his teammates know the truth.

By Ron Santo, Scottsdale, Arizona

As appeared in

I tell them about my career and what incredible support I got when I shared my secret. I remind people that there's no reason the disease should prevent them from utilizing their own God-given gifts. That's why he gave them to us.

And then I tell them about that sweltering summer day in 1967, when I stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and Cubs trailing, 2-0, and my head spinning because my blood sugar level had suddenly tumbled.

On the mound was Bill Singer, a two-time All-Star with a wicked curveball. My problem was this: I saw three Bill Singers, one on top of the other. His first pitch came at me looking like it was attached to a Slinky. What did I do? I had no choice: I swung.

The ball soared higher, higher, out of the park—one of six grand slams I hit in my career. Now that's what I'd call a God-given gift.

Ron Santo is the beloved radio analyst for the Chicago Cubs.

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