The Ron Santo memorabilia the Cubs mistakenly tossed into a dumpster Monday was fished out by bartenders at Murphy’s Bleachers bar and will be given to the Santo family.
“I’m glad the stuff was saved by Beth Murphy and I’m looking forward to going to see it Saturday,” said Jeff Santo, son of the late Cubs icon.
The story began Monday when the Cubs threw out several banners and other items, including a giant card fans signed for Santo at the 2011 Cubs Convention a couple of months after his death.
The Cubs on Tuesday apologized for tossing out the memorabilia, and spokesman Julian Green told a radio station they retrieved it, only to admit later to the Tribune it was gone.
The latest twist came Wednesday when tavern owner Murphy, the primary spokeswoman for the rooftop owners association that is battling the Cubs over their renovation plans, said she had the memorabilia in her bar.
Murphy said she instructed a couple of bartenders to get the items from the dumpster. The items were on display in her bar Wednesday.
“I saw them when I was walking my dog,” Murphy said. “I’m a big Ron Santo fan and I thought we should display them. At first I didn’t want the Santo family to know it was in the dumpster. But I did give them right of first refusal.”
Jeff Santo will be in town for the annual Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes on Sunday. He said he would keep some of the memorabilia and give some to Linda Dillman, a family friend who owns Bernie’s Chicago, a tavern at Clark Street and Waveland Avenue.
Santo said Crane Kenney, the Cubs’ business president, called him Tuesday to apologize for the accidental dumping.
“It was cool Crane called,” Santo said. “I’m sure it was just a mistake on someone’s part. I’m just wondering who my dad ticked off to put his stuff in the dumpster.”
Jeff said his dad would be laughing about the incident if he were alive.
Murphy said she did not call the Cubs to let them know she had the items. Was this a rooftop plot to embarrass the Cubs?
“No, I live in the neighborhood and I’m a huge Ron Santo fan,” she replied. “I loved him on the radio, had never seen anyone play third base like him and loved his personality.”
Murphy said it was a coincidence she saw the discarded items in the dumpster.
“It was almost like it was displayed in the dumpster,” she said. “It was hard to miss.”