The Brooklyn Cyclones paid tribute to a Bay Ridge baseball player who had a passion for helping others.
On Aug. 4, Maimonides Park hosted the family and friends of Christian Santo, who died of heart failure on Sept. 17, 2020 at age 27.
The Xaverian High School graduate is survived by his father Bill, mother Karen and sisters Nicole and Sydney.
Proceeds from tickets sold in section 11 went to the Christian J. Santo Legacy Foundation, which provides support and assistance in education, health and sports to children and families in distress or financial need. More than 300 tickets were sold.
Seat 9 in the section was dedicated to Santo in recognition of his uniform number.
“It was very heartfelt,” Karen Santo told this paper. “There were people that attended from all over the country because he played everywhere.”
Santo played baseball at St. Thomas Aquinas College and Northwood University. After graduation, he started a processing serving company, worked at the Board of Elections and became a master barber. He also coached Poly Prep’s girls’ softball team.
After his death, St. Thomas Aquinas retired his number and launched two yearly scholarships in his name.
As good as he was on the field and at his jobs, his biggest impact was off the field, according to Karen.
“Christian wanted to help children that had disabilities,” she said. “He wanted to help children with autism. If anyone has any knowledge about children with autism, they have a really hard time getting a haircut. Christian’s goal was to provide a service that would help these children get the care they need. He would give his heart and soul to make someone happy.”