ron-santo-nearing-hall-entryFrom Bruce Levine @ espnChicago.

It took 32 years, but former Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday with at least 75 percent of the vote from the Golden Era committee.

Santo was the only player elected. He received 15 of 16 votes. Jim Kaat received 10 votes, while Gil Hodges and Minnie Minoso received nine each.

Upon his induction, Santo, who died just over a year ago at age 70, will be the 47th Hall of Famer to have played for the Chicago Cubs.

After an illustrious 15-year major league career and 21 years as a broadcaster on Cubs radio, Santo succumbed to bladder cancer and pneumonia on Dec. 3, 2010.

The long wait for induction into the Hall of Fame had been maddening for Santo and his family. Santo was passed over by the veterans committee in 2003, 2005 and 2008. After that committee, comprised of current Hall of Famers, failed to elect anyone for eight consecutive years, the Hall of Fame changed the election rules.

The Golden Era committee was comprised of 16 individuals, including Hall of Fame players, baseball executives and veteran baseball reporters. Seventy-five percent of the 16 votes was needed for induction (12 or more).

The fiery Santo is the 11th third baseman in history to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Fourteen of his 15 years were spent with the Cubs. In the winter of 1973, Santo was traded to the White Sox where he spent his final season on the South side. In 2003, the Cubs retired his No. 10 jersey and after his death they dedicated a statue in his memory outside the ballpark on Aug. 10, 2011.

Santo’s career numbers have always been impressive. He hit .277 with 342 home runs and 1,331 RBIs and his 337 Cub home runs rank him fourth in team history.

The Cubs icon was the top defensive third baseman of his era after Baltimore’s Brooks Robinson. Santo still holds numerous defensive records and he led the National League in assists from 1962-68. A five-time Gold Glove winner, he was also named to nine All-Star teams.

Despite battling diabetes in an era where medication for his disease hadn’t yet become effective, Santo played in 1,536 games during the decade from 1960-69 — the third most games played by any major leaguer in that time span.

From 1967-72, the Cubs, under the leadership of Hall of Fame manager Leo Durocher, were always a first-division team. However, the Cubs never made the postseason during Santo’s career. The Cubs captain played in 2,243 games, the fifth most in baseball history without making the postseason. Three of Santo’s teammates from that era were previously elected to the Hall of Fame  Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins.

A Seattle native, Santo signed with the Cubs at age 18 in 1958, making it to the major leagues two years later.

After retiring from the game, Santo began a successful business career, owning truck stops and restaurants until he became the color commentator on Cubs radio broadcasts in 1990. He also was a tireless fundraiser, helping raise an estimated $40 million for juvenile diabetes research during his lifetime.

Santo spent 21 years in the broadcast booth. During that time the Cubs played 3,333 games, going to the postseason four times with an overall record of 6-15. They were swept in 1998, 2007 and 2008.

ron-santo-nearing-hall-entryRon Santo wanted this day for so long, and now that it’s finally here, he isn’t. The Hall of Fame call, the one he waited for and agonized over pretty much his adult life came today, but he’s no longer with us to answer the phone and here this: “Ronnie, welcome to the Hall of Fame.” And that’s not right.

He was asked once, on one of the many days a new group of inductees was announced and he wasn’t among them, if he’d be OK getting a spot in Cooperstown, even if it came after he died. And, in that style that endeared him to generations of Cubs fans, he said “I don’t want to go in post-humorously.” Of course, he meant posthumously, but then an E-5 on words was part of what made Ron Santo.

I spent seven years in Chicago, covering the Cubs and White Sox, and to this day say the most interesting person I’ve ever covered was Ozzie Guillen. The most impressive was Ron Santo. And for so many people, Ron Santo didn’t belong in the Hall because he was one of the best third basemen of his generation. They didn’t want him in because of his 342 homers, 1,331 RBIs and 2,254 hits. I mean, those were good enough reasons. But so many of them wanted him in because he was Ron Santo.

I know it’s not the best baseball argument, and that writers who serve as gatekeepers to Cooperstown shouldn’t vote with their hearts with something as important as entry into the Hall of Fame. But all those people that wanted Ron Santo in for being simply Ron Santo, I get it. So no, this isn’t a piece about the numbers and the on-field credentials.

I admit that when I first arrived in Chicago, I didn’t understand what Ron Santo meant to the city, to these people, to Cubs fans and to those suffering from diabetes. To me, he was a shrieking, name-mispronouncing homer cluttering up a radio broadcast. Before his health rapidly declined, Santo took a few days off from Cubs broadcasts. In his absence, I wrote a column for the small suburban newspaper for which I worked, a piece saying what a break it would be for his partner, the classy Pat Hughes, to have a few days off from Ronnie’s malapropos, from the recaps of his between-innings trips to the bathroom, from his butchering of the English language. I recalled some of his classic mistakes. (Note: Let’s get something straight, I wrote this before the leg amputations, before the bladder cancer, before the suffering reached the unimaginable levels it would in the years to come. I mean, even I’m not that heartless to pick on someone fighting debilitating illnesses). People wanted me fired. Or shot. Or fired, and then shot. And you know, they had a point. All these years later, I regret nothing more in my professional life than that column. I was young and stupid. Mostly, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

No, these aren’t baseball arguments, but if you spent time around Ron Santo, you quickly realize you don’t think with your mind, you think with your heart. You don’t think the radio broadcast going off the rails is ridiculous; you think it fits, it’s perfect. (Here’s a brief, but oh-so-perfect sampling).

Ron Santo was the crazy grandfather who overlooked your flaws; seriously, how else could someone love some of those awful Cubs teams the way Ronnie did. He was the voice of a fight, raising millions upon millions for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). He was a stubborn patient, the one who wouldn’t let the disease — actually, the diseases — keep him from living his life. I saw no-hitters and 60-homer seasons in Chicago; I saw a team on the other side of town win a World Series. Yet, the achievement that stands above all else was watching Ron Santo, on two prosthetics, work his way down that steep flight of stairs into the Cubs’ clubhouse, finally get to the bottom and smile. Not complain. Never complain. Smile. Walk through the clubhouse and say hello to reporters and players and clubhouse staff, asking “How you feeling today, big boy?”

Oh, I saw or heard about some funny ones, too. About the hairpiece catching on fire in the booth at Shea Stadium. The countless drinks he spilled on his notes or the fax machine in the broadcast booth. And, oh, the mess he made with words. OK, so the man could never remember my last name. And so, to see what kind of torture we could put him through, his partners handed him a piece of paper during a broadcast so he could wish me happy birthday on the air. He looked at the 15 letters and fought for 10 minutes — live on radio — that there’s no way that “Pietruszkiewicz” was a real last name. I still have the tape. Listening to everyone laughing in the background might be the best birthday wish I ever got.

In a city that loved people with one name — Jordan … Ditka … Sweetness … Ernie … — it’s not an exaggeration to say the name they loved the most was Ronnie.

And in his life, too short but incredibly well lived, he wanted two things more than anything — a World Series title for his Cubs and to hear someone say, “Ronnie, welcome to the Hall of Fame.”

I wish we could all see him push himself out of his chair on that stage this summer, surrounded by Hall of Famers – fellow Hall of Famers — and fumble and mumble and shriek his way through a speech that wouldn’t leave a dry eye anywhere in Cooperstown.

Yes, this is a happy day. It’s a sad one, too.

Ron Santo, one of the greatest players in Chicago Cubs history and a longtime WGN radio announcer whose devotion to the perennial losers was made obvious night after night by his excited shouts or dejected laments, has died. He was 70.

See Mike & Mike talk about it on ESPN Chicago.

Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg said his former teammate Sammy Sosa does not belong in the Hall because of integrity issues associated with the steroids era.

The New York Times reported that Sosa was one of the 104 players in 2003 who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Appearing on the “Waddle & Silvy” show on ESPN 1000, Sandberg said “I don’t think so,” when asked if Sosa belongs in the Hall of Fame.

“They use the word ‘integrity’ in describing a Hall of Famer in the logo of the Hall of Fame, and I think there are gonna be quite a few players that are not going to get in,” Sandberg said. “It’s been evident with the sportswriters who vote them in, with what they’ve done with Mark McGwire getting in the 20 percent range.

“We have some other players coming up like [Rafael] Palmeiro coming up soon, and it’ll be up to the sportswriters to speak loud and clear about that. I don’t see any of those guys getting in.”

Sandberg and Sosa were Cubs teammates from 1992 to ’94 and from ’96 to ’97.

“I was around Sammy for about five years before I retired, and there wasn’t anything going on then,” Sandberg said. “I did admire the hard work he put in. He was one of the first guys down to the batting cage, hitting extra. I figured he was working out hard in the offseason to get bigger. It was just happening throughout the game, that even myself was blinded by what was really happening, maybe starting in the ’98 season.

“I think it’s very unfortunate. I think suspicions were there as they are with some other players. Those players are now put in a category of being tainted players with tainted stats. I think it’s obviously something that was going on in the game. Players participated in it and as the names have come out I think that they will be punished for that.”

Sandberg said that punishment should include being banned from Cooperstown.

“It’s something that’s against the law and against society,” Sandberg said. “It was cheating in the sport.

“I think it has to be spoken very loud and clear on the stance, and baseball needs to stand as they have. I’m very, very satisfied with the testing program they have in place now. For a guy who’s tested positive today under what happens now like Manny Ramirez, it almost takes an idiot to participate in that. For the society, for the up-and-coming players and youth out there, I don’t think those guys should be recognized at all.”

I’m using apostrophe ‘s’ for ‘is’ and ‘was’ for convenience. Yeah, some of these people are dead, but they were bad anyway.
Jon Miller. He’s bad. Harry Kalas. He’s bad. Duane Kiper. He’s bad. Ron Santo. Bad. Don Sutton. Bad. Dave Niehaus. He’s bad. Al Albert. Bad. Steve Busby. Bad. Kirby Puckett. Not to speak ill of the recently departed, but — Bad. Tom Paciorek. Bad. Pat O’Brien. Bad. Ed Farmer. Bad. Ray Knight. Bad. Al Kaline. Bad. Marv Albert. Butt-biting bad. Richie Ashburn. Bad. Jim Durham. Bad.Greg Gumbel. Bad. Ray Fosse. Bad. Dave Winfield. Bad. Joe Tait. Bad. Al Trautwig. Bad. Suzyn Waldman. Shouldn’t even be on the list. Bad bad bad. Ernie Harwell. Bad. Waite Hoyt. Bad. Luis Gonzalez. Real bad. Thom Brennaman. Ew. Bad. Joe Carter. Bad. Mickey Mantle. Great swing. Bad. Joe Magrane. Bad. Bert Blyleven. Hall of Fame bound. As a pitcher. Bad. Greg Brown. Bad. Ed Coleman. Bad. Jim Donovan. Bad. Ken Wilson. Bad. Ray Scott. Bad. Steve Sax. Bad. Juan Pedro Villamin. Bad. Bert Wilson

Mine are…
1. Had Oscar Charleston played in pro baseball, he’d be considered better than Willie Mays.
2. Mickey Mantle was the single, most talented ballplayer to ever play on the field.
3. Babe Ruth was the best player to play in pro baseball, period.
4. Honus Wagner is the best defensive shortstop, closely followed by Ozzie Smith. However, Honus Wagner is by far the greatest shortstop in the history of baseball. Nobody even compares.
5. Walter Johnson is the greatest pitcher to ever live.
6. Bill James is the greatest statistician today, but a horrible writer. I like his blog-type approach, but authors and proffesors would consider it a sin.
7. Rickey Henderson is the greatest base stealer and leadoff hitter in history.
8. Christy Mathewson, Bob Gibson, and Nolan Ryan are not in the top five pitchers of all-time. Mathewson, who I have eighth, is the only one that is in the top ten.
9. Ron Santo is the greatest player turned down from the Hall of Fame, with Tim Raines closely following him, although there’s a good chance he’ll make it soon.
10. Sadaharu Oh would not be one of the top five players had he played in the MLB.

heya everyone.
i am super bored and i need something to write about.
i havent really written anything about sports so can yall please give me a topic.
something interesting though please..
i have already written one about Ron Santo needing to be elected into baseball hall of fame.. [now thats interesting!]
so can you please help. thanks (:

Please, Please, Please, Please, Please, Please argue with me. Maybe you’ll learn something, maybe I’ll learn something.
Here are mine:
1. Babe Ruth
2. Ty Cobb
3. Willie Mays
4. Walter Johnson
5. Ted Williams
6. Lou Gehrig
7. Barry Bonds
8. Stan Musial
9. Hank Aaron
10. Lefty Grove
11. Roger Clemens
12. Rogers Hornsby
13. Honus Wagner
14. Mickey Mantle
15. Christy Mathewson
16. Joe DiMaggio
17. Tris Speaker
18. Grover Alexander
19. Satchel Paige
20. Rickey Henderson
** Note: I post my lists in a lot of other questions. If you find one I posted and it doesn’t match it, don’t wonder why. It’s just that sometimes I look at a stat of a player and get impressed. When I type of lists out of memory like this, that player might move up a spot or two.
Also, if you feel like answering:
Best Relief Pitchers of All-time:
1. Mariano Rivera
2. Dennis Eckersly
3. Rich Gossage
4. Billy Wagner
5. Trevor Hoffman
BQ: Do all the steroid users nowadays (Bonds, Sosa, Rodriguez, Piazza, I. Rodriguez, Giambi, Canseco, etc.) sort of make you wish that Joe Jackson and Pete Rose were in the Hall of Fame? Or that guys like Ron Santo and Gil Hodges should be in Cooperstown?

If edmonds plays next season and reaches 400 homers, then he would become the 5th outfielder in the history to 400 homers and 8 gold gloves, joining ken griffey jr., barry bonds, willie mays, and somebody else that i can’t recall as of this moment. Would that be enough to get him into the hall of fame? In my opinion, I think he will fall into the ron santo category, like never putting up utterly dominant numbers, but always great in the field and solid with the bat. Which means i think he will fall a little short each and every year of hall of fame candidacy.

What about Ernie Banks and Ron Santo? What about the multitude of Hall of Famers NOT on a World Series winning team? Isn’t it PITCHING that has been the bane of the Yankees’ post season? Or is Ted Williams undeserving of his MVP and his Hall of Fame selection? What gives?