MESA, Ariz. -- Tuesday would've been Ron Santo's 74th birthday. His latest replacement on WGN Radio, Ron Coomer, was at the Cubs' Spring Training complex to prep for his first season in the broadcast booth.
Coomer, 47, is replacing analyst and former Cubs player Keith Moreland, and will join play-by-play man Pat Hughes. Coomer has nothing but respect for Santo, who was doing the Cubs broadcasts when Coomer played for the Cubs in 2001.
"You don't replace Ronnie," Coomer said. "I'm not looking to be the next 'Pat and Ron' show. Hopefully, I can just do my job."
Coomer has a No. 10, which the Cubs retired in Santo's honor, hanging up in his pool room at home. He attended Lockport (Ill.) Township High School, and still has links on the south side of Chicago. Coomer expects his favorite sandwich place, Parisi's, to deliver to Wrigley Field. He also has some Santo stories to share with listeners. They talked about playing third several times.
"We were headed to Cincinnati, and he came walking to the back to the plane and says, 'Hey, big boy, what are you doing tonight?'" said Coomer, who knew he'd be talking baseball with Santo that evening.
"He was a legend," Coomer said.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.