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Ron Santo

December 3, 2010

According to Paul Sullivan in the Chicago Tribune, Ron Santo passed away last night. He was among the best third basemen to ever play the game, and Bill James rated him as the 87th best player overall in baseball history, ahead of Frankie Frisch, Sam Crawford, Al Kaline, and Brooks Robinson. All four of those players are in the Hall of Fame, as are many others who didn’t have the career that Santo had. If there’s some note of mercy in the news of his death, it’s that he passed away in time to miss the December 6 announcement on the latest vote by the Hall of Fame Veteran’s Committee. Though Santo was not on the ballot under consideration by the committee (it is being restricted this year to “Expansion Era” players, i.e., players whose careers got rolling right around when Santo’s career was winding down), you have to think that any Hall of Fame vote would cause him some pain at this point. As anyone knows who ever heard him on the radio, he was a fan at heart, someone who was not afraid to get his hopes up. After the most recent dashing of those hopes, in 2008, when the Veteran’s Committee again failed to vote him in, he said, “I don’t want to go through this every two years.” He was human, capable of being hurt, but he did not seem to be a bitter guy at all but someone who knew what really mattered. For all the homers he smashed and all the line drives he snared and all the smiles he brought to all the faces of fellow fans all down the years, may his name and number fly high forever above the place he loved most in the world.

3 comments

  1. A huge loss. Bill James rated Santo the sixth best third baseman of all time. It would be nice if he got in the Hall of Popularity after the sad fact, but I’m not betting a case of Old Style on it.


  2. .277, 342 HR’s & 1331 RBI’s PLUS all those years in the booth. Seems like an easy choice to me. I got into the MLB Game Day Audio package this past season and really enjoyed listening to the Cubbies. Right on the money Josh…Santo was a FAN and was always optimistic the Cubs would rally to pull off the win. Definitely a Glass is half FULL kind of guy. If it is any consulation, Strat O Matic just recently included Santo in the upcoming Baseball Heroes Set! Happy Holidays Josh! Thanks for all the entertainment this year!


  3. I remember in 1969 after every Cubbies victory, Santo would jump up in the air and click his heels. But then there was the night at Shea in September when the Cubs were blowing their 1st place lead. A black cat ran out on the field and passed Santo on the on deck circle. The Cubs went 8-17 after that night.



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