12/5 Billy Williams reaction

Billy Williams was on the Hall of Fame committee that discussd Ron Santo’s election into the Hall of Fame.

“The one thing is, I’m sorry he’s not here to enjoy it,” Williams said.

The Santo family received the news one year and two days after the long time Cubs third baseman passed away. He died Dec. 3, 2010, at the age of 70.

“When you look at his numbers on paper, he had some good years in the big leagues,” Williams said. “When you look at that, we’re measured by what we do on the baseball field and sometimes we’re measured by what we do off the baseball field. With Santo, he was a broadaster, he really built up the game of baseball and of course, [Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation], he worked for them, and he raised more than $60 million for Juvenile Diabetes. He did a great job through the years. All those numbers, this is what I’m most proud of, all those numbers, he never did complain — ‘I feel this, I feel that.’ He went out and played the game the way it should be played and played hard. It was tough for him. But he still put up numbers that enabled him to be in the baseball Hall of Fame.”

Williams said the process involving the 10 candidates created a “healthy discussion.”

“Of the 10 guys who were on the ballot, all of them had merits,” he said. “You could talk about them, and say this guy might go in the Hall of Fame later on. … All of those guys who we discussed, and it was a lengthy discussion, and we talked about it, and we only chose Ron Santo, but a lot of guys finished close.”

And what would Santo’s reaction be to the news?

“I think he would click his heels,” Williams said with a chuckle.

— Carrie Muskat 

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