MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs don't go a day this spring without thinking of Ron Santo.
They barely go a day without talking about him.
"It's good to think of him," manager Mike Quade said Sunday, a few moments after recording his first radio pregame show with Keith Moreland, Santo's successor in the Cubs broadcast booth.
The Cubs will wear a patch on their uniforms to honor Santo, who died in December. The Indians are wearing a patch to honor Bob Feller. At Goodyear Ballpark on Sunday, the grounds crew painted a "19" in front of the Indians dugout for Feller, and a "10" in front of the Reds dugout for Sparky Anderson.
In Peoria, the Mariners ran a video on Dave Niehaus before their spring opener.
Nice tributes, all of them. It's sad that this spring is filled with them.
Santo. Feller. Sparky. Niehaus.
And now Duke Snider.
The Hall of Fame announced Sunday that Snider died in California, at the age of 84.
Unlike some of the others, Snider wasn't around big-league ballparks as often in recent years. For many fans of my generation and those younger, the biggest memory of Snider is from Terry Cashman's song, "Willie, Mickey and the Duke."
But Snider lives on in the memories of Brooklyn Dodger fans. He lives on in the memories of those who have been with the Dodgers over the years.
"Although it's ironic to say it, we have lost a giant," Vin Scully said, in a statement released by the team. "He's joining a great Dodger team that has moved on."
The Dodgers will no doubt find a way to honor Snider. I have no doubt they'll do it well, just as the Cubs have done, just as the Indians and Reds have done, just as the Mariners have done.
In too many places, it's been a sad spring.