As this year winds down to a close, we pause to remember the baseball greats who have left us this year.
First up: Sparky Anderson
Though he was active in baseball well before my time, I know that many of our readers here on More Hardball do remember Sparky Anderson quite well. Those who do remember him have nothing but fond memories. Indeed, not too many managers can win back-to-back World Series'. He will be missed.
Next: Jose Lima
Jose Lima's untimely death shocked many of us. It caught me off guard, simply because Lima was relatively young, and it seemed like yesterday that I was watching him pitch for the Dodgers during the playoffs in 2004. Though he eventually dropped off the baseball map, Lima had a reputation as being a fun-loving, hardworking player who was a great clubhouse presence.
Finally, Ron Santo
Though he played for a team I no longer care for, long before I was born, Ron Santo stuck out most in my mind as the greatest loss this year in baseball. As a kid, and into my teenage years, I recall listening to Santo call the Cubs games on the radio. While I didn't care too much for the Cubs, I enjoyed listening to Santo call the games because he had fun doing it, and he let anyone listening to the game know that. I remember the day Santo's funeral was held in Chicago. Though I was not there, WGN broadcast the service live over its local and national cable channels for fans to say one last goodbye to this great player/announcer, no matter where they were.
May all of these and the other baseball greats who did not make this list rest in peace. You will all be missed.