StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-114728841130895.jpg’, ”, ‘Ron Santo’);
Chicago Cubs legend and current WGN radio broadcaster Ron Santo is coming to Freeport.
Santo will be in town Monday, May 15 for Ron Santo Day at Read Park. The park is on the corner of West Empire Street and South McKinley Avenue.
Read Park is slated to become the home of Little Cubs Field. Construction on the smaller version of Wrigley Field is scheduled to begin this summer.
The plans are to make the park a mini replica of the bigger stadium at Clark and Addison in Chicago. There will be authentic ivy-covered outfield walls (with ivy cut from the wall of the big league park). The foul poles will fly the flags of retired Cubs greats, including Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ryne Sandberg, and, of course, the guest of honor, Santo. There are even plans to replicate the famous Wrigley Field sign.
The first 30 people who donate $500 to Little Cubs Field will be invited to a private reception beginning at 4 p.m. to meet Santo, get his autograph and take photographs. The public session is from 5 to 6 p.m. Santo will be given a key to the city and will conduct a Take Me Out to the Ball Game sing-along. He is also expected to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. Fans will have an opportunity to win a chance to meet Santo.
For more information about Little Cubs Field or Ron Santo Day, call the Freeport Area Development Foundation at 815-233-1350 or log on to www.littlecubsfield.com.
Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the May 10-16, 2006, issue