The discussions are as old as the Hall of Fame itself. Who is worthy and who is not?At the heart of some of the biggest debates is former Chicago Cubs third baseman and current broadcaster Ron Santo.

The argument can be persuasive both ways. Santo is short on the so-called magical numbers, with just 2,254 hits and 342 home runs over a 15-year career. But those numbers do compare with Hall of Famers like Johnny Bench and Gary Carter.

The latest argument in favor of Santo, although not necessarily for the Hall, comes from columnist Jayson Stark is his book ranking the all-time over- and under-rated players in baseball history.

Stark calls Santo the No. 1 all-time under-rated third baseman.

“I looked at myself with a lot of natural ability,” Santo said Saturday at O’Brien Field where he appeared for a benefit for the Rehabilitation Foundation of IPMR. “It was easy for me to catch ground balls, it was easy for me to throw the ball, to hit the ball. The only attribute that I didn’t have was speed … I was given a gift and I made the best of it.”


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Chicago Cubs radio broadcaster Ron Santo will throw out the first pitch Saturday night at O’Brien Field before the Peoria Chiefs game against the Clinton LumberKings. Game time is 6:30 p.m.

Saturday is the fifth annual Institute of Physical Medicine at Rehabiliation, a facility that specializes in rehabbing patients who have suffered from serious injuries.

After throwing the first pitch, Santo will sign autographs on the concourse for one hour. All donations and proceeds from the autograph signing will benefit IPMR.