Baseball HOF Profile: Ron Santo

The Hall of Fame is always hard to get in to and there are countless players who will never be immortalized in any of the halls. More than most though the Baseball Hall of Fame is extremely hard to get into with only a few players getting in every year. This year is a perfect example as there will only be two inductees into the Hall of Fame with one coming in from the senior vote. This senior vote was added to allow those players who were passed over for whatever reasons when they first came on the ballot. It gives players who were passed over one more chance to make the hall and many times is the last chance for redemption by many players. It is an all too familiar story as great players get passed over consistently for any number of reasons like the fact that many may have been in a year where there were better players ahead of them. This has forced many players to rely on the senior voters, made up of members of the Hall of Fame, to get in to the special club. For Ron Santo this is the case as the fan favorite in Chicago was finally given his spot in the hall of fame. For years the Chicago Cubs fans have been hoping that one of the biggest fan favorites in Cubbies history would make the hall of fame. It was more than just the stats that made him a fan favorite it was his heart and his struggle after baseball that made him the man in Chicago. For years Santo was one of the best third baseman in baseball and when his career was over he became the voice of the Cubbies. He was a constant face in the Cubs saga and his struggles with diabetes and cancer were watched by many in Chicago. As he continued to struggle through treatment many fans hoped that he would be able to enter the hall before it was too late. For Santo though it was too late as he succumbed to cancer in 2010, two years before he was able to be at his own induction. It will be both a sad and happy day for Santo fans, of which there are many, as he will finally get his spot in the Hall but will not be around to see it.

It is more than just the story of Ron Santo that has made him a hall of famer as he was one of the best third basemen in the game. Signed by the Chicago Cubs in 1959 Ron Santo was never considered a top prospect but was able to make his way to the big show in only a year. He made his debut in 1960 and he began to have an immediate impact. In 1961 he set a Cubs record for most double plays and began making a name for himself. He continued to play well making his first All-Star game in 1963 and winning his first Gold Glove in 1964. Throughout his career Santo would go to 8 more All-Star games and win 4 more Gold Glove awards. He was a consistent performer for the Cubs and rarely had a bad season despite being on one of the most unlucky teams in the MLB. With rarely a chance to win a World Series Santo continued to stay loyal to the Cubbies until his last season after he requested a trade to the Chicago White Sox. Overall Santo ended his career with a .277 AVG including 342 HRs and 1,331 RBIs making him one of the best third baseman in the league. Now with his second chance Santo has made the Hall of Fame and despite not being around to see the honour. For Cubbies fans it is a long time coming and for many the lack of championships means he will never be worthy. Despite your opinion Santo will be in the hall of fame this weekend and his longtime struggle with not being in the hall of fame can now be solved by friends and family in his memory.

 

Ron Santo, 3B (1960-1974)

6’0” 190 lbs

Chicago Cubs (14 yrs)

2,243 G

.277 AVG

342 HR

1,331 RBI

– 9 All-Star Game Appearances

– 5 Gold Glove Awards

– 1973 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award

– Also played for Chicago White Sox (1 year)

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