12/5 Ron Santo is in HOF
Ron Santo is clicking his heels in heaven.
Santo, the enthusiastic, popular and very resilient former Cubs third baseman, was elected into the Hall of Fame on Monday by a Veterans Committee. Santo, who died one year ago in December, was one of the candidates on a ballot representing the Golden Era of the sport from 1947-72. His competition included former players Gil Hodges, Ken Boyer, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, Allie Reynolds, Luis Tiant, and executives Charlie Finley and Buzzie Bavasi.
Santo failed to make the Hall of Fame in his 15 years of eligibity on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot and also in numerous forms of the Veterans Committee. He missed by nine votes in a 2008 ballot of a post 1943 committee, and his highest vote total on the BBWAA ballot was 43.1 percent in 1998.
Hall of Famer Billy Williams, Santo’s former teammate, was on the 16-member Golden Era Committee, and campaigned for the third baseman. Williams was joined on the committee by Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson, Don Sutton. Major League executives Paul Beeston, Bill DeWitt, Roland Hemond, Gene Michael and Al Rosen, and veteran media members Dick Kaegel, Jack O’Connell and Dave Van Dyck also were on the committee. A 75 percent vote was needed, which, in this instance, would be 12 votes.
When the Cubs retired Santo’s No. 10, he claimed that was his Hall of Fame. Now, he joins Cubs teammates Williams, Ernie Banks and Fergie Jenkins, who are already in Cooperstown.
Santo played 15 seasons from 1960-74, and is one of four players who had 2,000 hits, 300 home runs and 1,300 RBIs in that span, joining Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson and Williams.
– Carrie Muskat