Tag:Jim Kaat
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: December 5, 2011 2:14 pm
 

Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame

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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Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:22 am
 

Santo among Hall of Fame's Golden Era candidates

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Former Cubs third baseman Ron Santo is among eight former players and two former executives will be voted upon by the 16-member Golden Era Committee at the Winter Meetings and announced on Dec. 5.

On the list are Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Charlie Finley, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Allie Reynolds and Luis Tiant.

The finalists are voted on by a 16-member board -- they are Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson, Don Sutton and Billy Williams; major league executives Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Rolan Hemond (Diamondbacks), Gene Michael (Yankees) and Al Rosen (retired); as well as media members Dick Kaegel (MLB.com), Jack O'Connell (BBWAA) and Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune).

The Golden Era Committee currently uses a three-year cycle of consideration for managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players by era.

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Posted on: April 24, 2011 10:50 pm
 

At 44, Vizquel not close to retirement

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Omar VizquelWhite Sox utility man Omar Vizquel turned 44 on Sunday, but says he doesn't see the end of his career coming anytime soon.

"As long as the body is OK, and [I'm] performing and doing what I ask it to do," Vizquel told the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales when asked if he could be celebrating more birthdays on the field. "Right now there's no reason I can't. I am going to keep trying to play. I don't need to be on a table getting massages, or [in] a Jacuzzi or need a personal trainer with me on the road trips. I feel like I can still do the same things I've been doing for all these years."

With an 0-for-3 day on Sunsday, Vizquel's average dipped to .308. But that's not too bad for a 44-year-old. He started at second base on Sunday, the third time he's started there this season. He's also started games at shortstop and third base. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only Bobby Wallace of the Cardinals has played shortstop past his 44th birthday -- and that was 93 years ago.

"[Vizuqel] saved our [rears] last year, big-time, and continues to do it," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I need to put him out there because we need a break and he shows up to perform the way he does. That's not an easy thing to do."

Last season, in his first with Chicago, Vizquel hit .276/.341/.391. This season he's hitting .308/.357/.346.

Vizquel has 2,807 career hits but may need to play again at least next season to reach 3,000. He had 95 hits last season with the White Sox, but only 106 combined in 2008 and 2009. If he plays into 2013, he'd have a realistic shot at 3,000, which would guarantee him a spot in the Hall of Fame.

With 11 Gold Gloves at the game's most important defensive position, Vizquel is among the best to ever play as a defensive player, but is often overlooked because of the offensive shortstops of his time, such as Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken Jr. and Alex Rodriguez

Only Ozzie Smith had more Gold Gloves at shortstop (13) -- and only Smith, Greg Maddux (18), Jim Kaat (16), Ivan Rodriguez (13), Brooks Robinson (16), Roberto Clemente (12) and Willie Mays (12) have won more Gold Gloves overall.

Vizquel's offensive numbers are better than Smith's, but Smith was more popular and seen as perhaps the greatest defensive player off all-time, not just shortstop. Vizquel has always been respected, but still viewed as inferior to Smith defensively and other shortstops offensively. Smith tops Vizquel in WAR, 64.6 to 43.3, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

If Vizquel doesn't get to 3,000 hits, he'll be an interesting case. If he does, he's a slam-dunk.

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