Dear Sweet Cubby

…the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
From Luke 18:14

At a recent gathering with my sisters, I lamented the closing of a once favorite restaurant. Though the food was wonderful and the atmosphere was welcoming, the owner was even more so. We chose this eatery often, especially when we had our mom with us. You see, that owner was Ron Santo and our mom was a fan.

It was around 5:00 when we arrived that evening so long ago. On the way into the restaurant, our mom wondered aloud if Ron Santo would be there. As it happened, the Cubs’ famed third baseman made one of his frequent appearances to mingle with his patrons that night. When Mom saw him, she flew out of her chair to greet him. Ron Santo graciously shook her hand. Unfortunately for him, our mom didn’t let go. She pulled the poor man to our table. “You have to meet my five daughters,” she insisted.

Mr. Santo never stopped smiling as our mom dragged him along. When they arrived at our table, we apologized for our mom’s enthusiasm, but he would have none of it. Ron Santo looked at us and said, “Well, you sure have beautiful daughters, just like their mother!” He chatted with us for several minutes, gave our mom a hug and then went on his way. When we left the restaurant, Mr. Santo made a point of saying good-bye to Mom. Though this beloved Cubby is remembered for so much more, I’ll never forget his kindness to our mom.

Loving God, help me always to appreciate the good people who grace my life.

©2018 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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Cub, Sweet Cub

“…everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted”

From Luke 18:14

Baseball fever has taken over Chicagoland in full force these days. Even non-Cub fans admire what this young team has accomplished in spite of the lore regarding that goat’s curse. I admit to a soft spot in my heart for the Cubbies which took hold many years ago at the hands of one of their best…

My sisters and I took our mom to Santo’s, a local restaurant owned by the Cubs’ famed third baseman. While we were there, Ron Santo made one of his frequent appearances to mingle with his patrons. When our mother saw him, she flew out of her chair to greet him. Mr. Santo graciously shook her hand. Unfortunately for him, my mom didn’t let go. She pulled the poor man to our table. “You have to meet my five daughters,” she told him.

Mr. Santo never stopped smiling as my mother dragged him across the room. When he arrived at our table, we tried to apologize for our mom’s enthusiasm, but he would have none of it. Ron Santo looked around at each of us and said, “Well, you sure have beautiful daughters, just like their mother!” He chatted with us for several minutes, gave our mom a hug and then went on his way. When we left the restaurant, Mr. Santo made a point of saying good-bye to our mom.

Though this beloved Cubby is remembered for so much more, I’ll never forget the kindness he showed to my mom that day. In recognition of this and the current Cubs’ great performance, I can’t help singing, “Go, Cubs, go!”

Loving God, thank you for good people everywhere who do what they can for others regardless of how busy they are.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Lovable Cubby

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

From Luke 18:14

When my son emailed the photo of him and his family at spring training, thoughts of my favorite Cubby came to mind…

My sisters and I had taken our mom to Santo’s, a local restaurant owned by the famed third baseman of the Chicago Cubs. On that particular day, Ron Santo made an appearance to mingle with his patrons. As soon as my mother saw him, she flew out of her chair to greet him. At eighty-two, this was quite a feat. When Ron Santo graciously shook her hand, my mom did not let go. She pulled the poor man to our table. “You have to meet my five daughters,” she told him.

Ron Santo never stopped smiling as my mother dragged him across the restaurant. When he arrived at our table, we tried to apologize for our mom’s enthusiasm, but he would have none of it. Ron Santo looked around at each of us and said, “Well, you sure have beautiful daughters, just like their mother!” After chatting with us for several minutes, he gave our mom a warm hug and then went on his way. When we left the restaurant after dinner, that lovable Cub made a point of saying good-bye to my mom.

Though he is remembered for so much more, I am quite certain my mom reminded Ron Santo of his kindness when she met him at heaven’s door.

Loving God, thank you for creating us with the capacity to embrace one another with such humility and love.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Dear, Dear Cubby

…the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
From Luke 18:14

At this writing, the Chicago Cubs are doing well. I point this out because one never knows what will develop as the season progresses in Wrigley Field. When the team celebrated the official re-opening of the new bleacher section, nostalgia filled the air. Even the beloved Harry Carey was brought back via video to lead the crowd in singing Take Me Out To the Ballgame. As I watched the game, I wondered if other beloved Cubs will make such appearances in subsequent games. As I pondered the list of players I’d love to see again, my thoughts turned to the one player whom I met up close and personal…

My sisters and I had taken our mom to Santo’s, a restaurant owned by the Cubs’ famed third baseman. While we dined, Ron Santo made one of his frequent appearances to mingle with his patrons. When Mom saw him, she flew out of her chair to greet him. Ron Santo graciously shook her hand. Unfortunately for him, Mom did not let go. She pulled the poor man to our table. “You have to meet my five daughters,” she insisted.

Mr. Santo never stopped smiling as my mother dragged him along. When they arrived at our table, we apologized for our mom’s enthusiasm, but he would have none of it. Ron Santo looked at us and said, “Well, you sure have beautiful daughters, just like their mother!” He chatted with us for several minutes, gave our mom a hug and then went on his way. When we left the restaurant, Mr. Santo made a point of saying good-bye to Mom. Though this beloved Cubby is remembered for so much more, I will never forget his kindness.

Loving God, help me always to appreciate the good people who grace my life.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Loving Heros

God loves each one of us
as if there were only one of us.

St. Augustine

Our recent loss of Chicago White Sox Great Minnie Minoso prompted me to walk down Memory Lane once again. My husband and son had the pleasure of meeting the good Mr. Minoso at a baseball dinner several years ago. I recall both of their comments afterward regarding the vintage White Sox player’s humility, friendliness and eagerness to interact with the fans. Both walked away with a soft spot in their hearts for him.

Some years later, my mom, my sisters and I enjoyed an equally rewarding encounter with Ron Santo, the famed third baseman of the Chicago Cubs. We were enjoying dinner at Santo’s, a restaurant owned by the legendary Cub, when he made an appearance to mingle with his patrons. As soon as my mother saw him, she flew out of her chair to greet him. When Ron Santo graciously shook her hand, my mom did not let go. She pulled the poor man to our table. When he arrived, we tried to apologize for our mom’s enthusiasm, but he would have none of it. Ron Santo looked at us and said, “Well, you sure have beautiful daughters, just like their mother!” After chatting with us, he gave our mom a warm hug and then went on his way. When we left the restaurant after dinner, Mr. Santo made a point of saying good-bye to my mom.

I cited St. Augustine for this writing because these humble baseball heroes exhibited an excellent understanding of the love about which Augustine spoke. Each one of us is unique and special in God’s eyes and we are loved as though we are the only one who matters to God. Minnie Minoso and Ron Santo had a knack for doing the same. Today, I offer a prayer of gratitude for these two who loved the rest of us so well.

Loving God, help me always to appreciate the people who see the best in me and to look for the best in all of those you have given me to love. Today, please bless Minnie Minoso and Ron Santo with heaven’s best.

©2015 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

Thanks, Mr. Santo!

“…everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted”

From Luke 18:14

Because we were having an overnight guest, I dusted our son Tim’s room. Though he’s been married for four years, his influence on the decor remains. This means that sports paraphernalia is everywhere. When I attempted to stow a few things in a drawer, I found a couple of baseball cards. I wondered why Jodie Davis and Ron Santo weren’t stored in a binder or box somewhere. As I closed that drawer, thoughts of a prior encounter with Mr. Santo came to mind…

My sisters and I took our mom to Santo’s, a local restaurant owned by the famed third baseman of the Chicago Cubs. While we were there, Ron Santo made one of his frequent appearances and mingled with his patrons. When our mother saw him, she flew out of her chair to greet him. Ron Santo graciously shook her hand. Unfortunately for him, my mom did not let go. She pulled the poor man to our table. “You have to meet my five daughters,” she told him.

Ron Santo never stopped smiling as my mother dragged him across the room. When he arrived at our table, we tried to apologize for our mom’s enthusiasm, but he would have none of it. Ron Santo looked around at each of us and said, “Well, you sure have beautiful daughters, just like their mother!” He chatted with us for several minutes, gave our mom a hug and then went on his way. When we left the restaurant, Ron Santo made a point of saying good-bye to our mom.

Though this beloved Cubby is remembered for so much more, I am certain my mom reminded him of his kindness when she met him at heaven’s door.

Loving God, help me always to appreciate the good people who grace my life. Their presence sustains me. Also, please bless Ron Santo and my mom with heaven’s best.

©2014 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved