Blog Entry

Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame

Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: December 5, 2011 2:14 pm
By Matt Snyder

DALLAS -- In a moment that has to be described as bittersweet to the Santo family and Cubs fans alike, former third baseman Ron Santo has been elected into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. He received 15 of 16 possible votes from the Golden Era Committee, comprised of Hall of Famers, executives and media members.

The announcement was made Monday morning at the MLB Winter Meetings.

Santo died at the age of 70 just over a year ago, which is what makes the moment bittersweet. Many felt Santo should have been a Hall of Famer years ago, and now he's been elected after his death.

In a 15-season career, Santo hit .277/.362/.464 with 342 home runs, 1,331 RBI, 1,138 runs and 365 doubles. He won five Gold Gloves, finished in the top 10 of MVP voting four times and was a nine-time All-Star.

The last time Santo was on the BBWAA ballot, he received just 43.1 percent of the vote. He needed 75 percent to be elected. He was then left out by failing to gain enough votes from the Veteran's Committee the following several years. This time around, the Golden Era Committee came through for Santo.

Members of the Golden Era Committee: Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson, Don Sutton, Paul Beeston, Bill DeWitt, Roland Hemond, Gene Michael, Al Rosen, Dick Kaegel, Jack O'Connell Dave Van Dyck and Santo's former teammate, Billy Williams.

Santo was the only player on the ballot to be elected by the committee. The other players on the ballot were Gil Hodges, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, Allie Reynolds and Luis Tiant. Executives Charlie Finley and Buzzie Bavasi were also on the ballot.

A candidate needed 12 of 16 votes to make the Hall of Fame. Kaat received 10 votes. Minoso and Hodges got nine, while Oliva received eight.

Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig issued the following statement:

“This is a great day for baseball and for Cubs fans everywhere. I am thrilled that the memory of my dear friend Ron Santo will be preserved forever in the halls of Cooperstown. As a star player and a beloved broadcaster, Ron was a staple of the Cubs’ experience every single day for decades, representing all the goodwill of both the franchise and the game he loved.

“I always admired Ron’s courage and loyalty, and I miss him very much. Today, I am so proud to know that his contributions to baseball will receive the highest honor. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate Ron’s wife Vicki, their four children and their grandchildren.”

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Since: Nov 25, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 7:34 pm

Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame

Did he ever lead the league in any major category? Was he ever an MVP. Did he ever play in a World Series? I'm not saying he wasn't good. He was a solid third baseman, but HOF? It diminishes the talents of players like Schmidt and B. Robinson.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 7:33 pm

Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame

I have been a Chicago Cubs fan since 1987, and although I am thoroughly estatic that the late, great  third-baseman Ron Santo has finally earned his spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame, i am also OUTRAGEOUSLY PISSED OFF!!!  We Cubs fans have been begging, pleading, and crying for Ronnie to be elected to the Hall for the last 20+ years; his name is constantly mentioned every year when the nominees are announced, and every year is just another denial.  Now the HOF Committee decides to elect him over a year after he loses his battle with diabetes!  What in the living hell kept them from electing him for induction while he was alive?  I think that although Ronnie has finally earned his rightful place, I think it's a total shame and a complete disgrace for the HOF Committee to wait until the man dies before electing him to the Hall of Fame!  I hope and pray that each and every single Committee member will find it outrageously difficult to sleep for a long, long time!  Rest in peace, Ronnie; you finally have your time in the sun!

I totally agree here. It's almost like a slap in the face to Ronnie, his family and Cubs fans like me. I mean, they wait until the man dies and RIGHT AFTER THAT AT THE FIRST CHANCE, NOW HE GETS IN ! It would have brought Ronnie such happiness to know that his lifelong dream had been achieved and realized. This is just like the hall Of Fame Committee. Wait until he's dead and then get him in. It's about like an artist. Many artists were only "discovered" after they were gone. Ronnie should have been in the Hall many years ago. There is no excuse for leaving him out this long. If you can let a playerlike Larry Bowa in(no offense Larry), why did you wait so long to induct Ron Santo ? He was also one of the best ambassadors of the game of baseball. We miss you Ronnie ! At least you can look down from Heaven and know, I guess.

Since: Sep 22, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 7:18 pm

Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame

Santo career rates:

Runners in scoring position .281/.387/.476 ( .863 )
Men on ( includes first base of course ) .286/.377/.476 ( .853 )
2 outs, runners in scoring position .271/.409/.465 ( .874 )
Late and close .281/.373/.485 ( .859 )
Tie game .27/.354/.44 ( .794 )

The tie numbers may be disappointing but the others are very solid.  How these numbers rate as awful, I don't know.

Not a Cubs fan nor hater here.

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 6:43 pm

Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame

He was a good solid player across the board, but he just doesn't compare to other Hall of Famers.

Not so. As I pointed out in another post, Santo's WAR is better than half of the third basemen currently in the HOF. People might not have liked his attitude with the heel-clicking, not liked the losing teams for which he toiled, or had any host of other off-the-field reasons for not voting him in, but there was no real statistical basis for excluding him for this long.

Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 6:21 pm

Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame

totally agree HOF is a joke, why now and not before so he could enjoy with his family and teammates,terrible system.

Since: Nov 25, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 6:19 pm

Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame

What a joke! At least we don't have to hear all the whining from cub fans, media, and the Santo family anymore. The HOF is becoming a farce. Not only was he an over rated player, but he was NOT a clutch player. And he was not a very good team mate....just ask Don Young. As far as him being this great cub player AND fan, why did he stay away from wrigley field for 17 years??? It's the same old cub propaganda bs. Just like when Harry Caray was a White Sox announcer for years. cubs fans ripped and despised him. After he became a cub announcer...he was the greatest and they even erected a statue of him....pathetic!

Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 6:17 pm

Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame

Thanks for nothing Hall of Fame. Electing Santo now a year after his death because you feel guilty that you never let him in before? Why exactly do we need 3 different ways to get in? and when did this "Golden Era committee" start? So basically if the sportwriting halfwitts don't let you in, you have a 2nd chance with the Veterans Committe.  If they won't let you in, you still might make it in if the Golden Era 16 like you enough.  Why stop there? How about a 4th chance with the "Committe who really thinks you're cool".  I suppose I actually respect the Golden Era Committee more since it is composed of former players/managers than I do some doucher sports writer who never played the game in his life.

Its such a joke, every year it seems like there is someone who is on the ballot for years and then gets in. Why?! Did his numbers change? Did he win 10 more games? Hit 10 more homers?  Why does it take someone like Blyleven so freakin long to be in the hall? He clearly deserved to be in, as did Dawson. Why did they have to wait so damn long? Were they hoping they would kick the bucket too so that they could pass them on to the next committee?  LAME!!

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:40 pm

Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame

There were 10 3B's already in the HOF: Wade Boggs (2005), George Brett (1999), Mike Schmidt (1995), George Kell (1983), Eddie Mathews (1978), Brooks Robinson (1983), Freddie Lindstrom (1976), Home Run Baker (1955), Pie Traynor (1948) and Jimmy Collins. Using Wins Above Replacement as a reasonable standard for rating a player, Santo's 66.4 WAR puts him exactly in the middle of that group, above Kell, Lindstrom, Baker, Traynor, and Collins. He should have been elected long ago.

Now, if anyone wants him in the broadcast wing, that's a tougher argument to make...

Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:34 pm

Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame

Exactly right. As I pointed out there are probably at least 25 players in the HOF that really don't deserve it based on their playing career and Ron Santo is one of them. he is getting in because he is the sentimental favorite among a bunch of guys that also do not belong. The fact that some people didnt vote for the HR king means nothing. Nobody has been unanimous. Some voters figure the obvious will get in anyway so why not use their vote for a guy that may need their vote to get in. In Hank's case it was prejudice and the fact that some of those guys actuall ysaw Ruth play and he wasn't unanimous so neither will anyone else. Santo had none of those things going against him. What he did have was that he was not great. The epople that saw him play and covered him did not vote for him while his playing days were fresh in their mind. Now 30 years later somehow he is? I think the Golden Era Committee just wants to feel important themselves.

As someone else pointed out this guy not only was not an MVP, and not only did not have any career records or great numbers, but he never even led a season in any major catagory, so he wasn't even the best of his own time, much less all-time. Again the system allows him to get in so I don't blame him, and I am sure it is a great source of pride for his family, but many of them never saw him play either.

The system is not perfect, and there are certainly players who deserved to get in that are not there yet. The ones I could name would all be more qualified than Santo. How do Allen Trammels stats stack up to him? Another excellent fielder with not much else, and he actually did lead the league in a catagory and actuall ydid help his team to world titles. Again it doesn't make anyones point more or less valid to compare anyone with anyone else that is or is not in, but the mere fact that we can find so many that compare to Santo means that he was not special, which is who should be in Cooperstown.

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:11 pm

Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame

If you think Santo's numbers aren't hall worthy, you don't know enough about baseball to post a comment.  He played during the greatest pitcher's era of modern times and was still an outstanding hitter.  He was clearly the best third baseman in the NL during his playing days (Matthews was still playing early in Santo's career). 

The BBWAA make a lot of mistakes (some of these clowns DIDN'T vote for Hank Aaron, just to site one example) and not adding Santo to the Hall might have been one of their biggest ever.

Look jackhole, because someone disagrees with you does not automatically make that person unqualified.  I think that is the main problem in this country currently, that everyone is yapping but no one is listening.  By comparing Santo's stats to the other stars of his era (an era that included two expansions), one quickly sees that Santos was one of the better players of his generation sure, but not a superstar.  The Hall of Fame isn't for every above average player; rather, it is for the very best players.  Sub-400 homers and a .277 batting average are not superstar numbers for a third baseman.  I agree he was good defensively, but again, not even the best at that in his era (that would belong to Brooks Robinson).  Santo also hit between two incredible hitters.  Anyone who "knows enough about baseball" knows that greatly inflates statistics.  Santo was awful in the clutch as well.  People, I know sentimentality gets in the way, but the guy is a great player, but not a hall of famer.  Pointing out others who are undeserving but got elected doesn't mean Santos is hall worthy.  Santo also struck out waaaaay too often (more career strikeouts than RBI).  He never led the league in runs, hits, average, homers, RBI, etc. (though he did lead it in walks 4 times, but he also led in grounding into double plays twice).

He was a good solid player across the board, but he just doesn't compare to other Hall of Famers.

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