View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



November 2011



Ron Santo for HOF?

Written by , Posted in General

Since the inception of the veteran’s committee that supposedly elects players that were missed in the regular process of Hall of Fame Voting, Ron Santo has had his heart broken. Now, in the first vote since his death last year, several people had some things to say on the topic.

Chris Jaffe of the Hardball Times has a nice piece on the process for this year and looks at the candidates with the best shot of getting in. He puts Ron Santo in at the top of the list, saying “Ron Santo is both the best candidate on the ballot and the most likely to go in. It’s nice when those two items go together. There are at least three factors working on Santo’s behalf.” and then goes on to explain his reasoning.

Graham Salemme at Bleacher Report also addressed an interesting issue:  “Third base is the hardest position to play to get into the Hall of Fame. Third base has the fewest representatives in the Hall. Why is this?”

Finally, Ashley Bolton weighed in with her thoughts in a reader submitted piece on the issue:

Last year I can say was one of the hardest years of my life as a baseball fan, no it wasn’t because of the awful season the Cubs turned in. It was because my favorite player and Chicago Cubs Legend Ron Santo had passed away. I remember driving back and forth from school and listening to Ron and Pat on the radio, he was everything a Cub fan should be, he lived and died with every pitch. He wasn’t there to just announce the game he lived the game for 9 innings with you and depending the outcome felt the pain with you till the next day. Although I never watched Ron play I manage it was as amazing as listening to him talk about the Cubs.

So yes, I know all I have to base my argument on is stats and what I have been told from others that did watch him play, but it is a travesty that Ron went to his grave without being inducted into the Hall of Fame. For his time he was one of the greatest at his position, and with everything health wise he was battling it is amazing he was even able to take the field on most days. Now for as far back as I can remember I can tell you how bad it hurt to see the Hall of Fame ballot come back and to see he didn’t make it. It was like being told that your own grandfather wasn’t good enough. I can’t even manage what it must have been like for Ron to every time be told that your best wasn’t good enough even when you and so many knew it was.

Now I will admit the day Ron died I shed many tears, as I did the day I watched his funeral on TV. However no day hit me harder than Opening Day this season when I went to turn on the radio and listen to Pat and Ron and to realize that once again it wasn’t a bad dream that Ron was really gone. Listening to the radio isn’t the same without Ron yelling and screaming when the Cubs do something great or groaning in misery when they do something bad. So that’s why this year when the voting for the Veteran’s committee comes up it will be so bitter sweet, because if he does finally get in he won’t be there to enjoy it and we all know how much Ron would have enjoyed it. He wore his heart on his Cubs sleeve and is a Hall Of Famer in every Cubs fans heart, it’s just a shame that when he gets that call from Cooperstown that it will be too late. However I am sure that we will hear him clicking his heels when he does get in.

I don’t know if Ron will get in this year, and to be honest, I don’t know that I care that much. How much does it really mean if you have to ask and ask and ask and ask and then finally people say OK? I’m sure most of you have different thoughts, especially those that saw him play, but for me, it’s not much of an issue.

  • Norm

    I’ve lost interest in the HoF in recent years. Too many good-not-great players getting in while better players are still on the outside.

  • I think he should be in twice. Once as a player and once as a broadcaster.

    How much does it mean? Maybe nothing at all. Still, he should be there.

  • Chuck

    If he gets in this year it will be a travesty because he had to die to get the long overdue recognition he earned both on the field and in the booth. Those dipshit voters should have to live with the fact they left him out for so long.

    Career Stats: .277/.362/.464, 125 OPS+, 66.4 brWAR in 15 seasons (4.43 avg WAR), 9 time All-Star, Top 10 MVP 4 times (no wins), 5 time Gold Glove winner, 342 HR

    He did this all in the 60s and early 70s. He had a staggering 10.2 WAR in 1967. To put that in perspective, Phat Albert has had a WAR that high only once in his career. He led the league in walks 4 times.

  • Seymour Butts

    Some thing I wrote about 2 years ago on Shermrants(now defunct):

    Lets talk HOF

    take 2 players:
    Player A
    22 seasons
    .271 BA
    .427 SLG
    .392 OBP
    1133 RBI
    1865 BB
    0 Gold gloves
    10 All Star
    2 League MVP

    Player B

    15 seasons
    .277 BA
    .464 SLG
    .362 OBP
    1331 RBI
    1343 BB
    5 Gold gloves
    9 All star
    0 MVP

    Fairly clear both were productive hitters and valuable to their teams.
    Player B has clearly better hitting and fielding numbers, but player A has 2 league MVPs.
    The MVP is rarely awarded to players on losing clubs which player B was mostly, and Player A’s team had a couple of world series victories, though his numbers say he must have had a lot of help.

    Player A IS in the HOF, player B is not.
    Player A has a national soap box on which he frequently states the HOF must have standards, I agree. Just look at this years Football HOF ballot, you would be hard pressed to find anything above good on it, yet several will be selected, That HOF is a watered down joke.
    But using Player A’s logic, player B should be in the HOF well before player A.

    You may have guessed Player B is Ron Santo, Player A is Joe Morgan.

    This is a game that is ripe for admission to a hall of fame to be numbers driven. Take all past and current members and gather their stats. Take the average of the bottom 5 players at each position and let that be the line of demarcation. Not so much a Mendoza line, but I have a sneaking suspicion it could be called a “Morgan Line”.

    I’ll call it the Morgan Line, because it amuses me.

    Ron should have been in the HOF a couple of decades ago if merit had anything to do with it. If he gets in now I will have very mixed emotions, probably anger predominantly, that it took his death for him to get in. But I’m not objective. I did see him play, played with his sons last year at fantasy camp, and, yes Raker, I had dinner with him…more than once.

  • Buddy

    I’m with Norm. I couldn’t care less about the HOF these days. If I was king for a day, I’d change the HOF to the “Major League Baseball Museum,” so I could put in whoever and whatever I wanted.

  • Eddie Von White

    I agree with those who say it doesn’t matter now. Ronnie should have been in years ago. Instead they wait till he dies then act like they’re doing him a favor…”Funny when you’re dead how people start listening.”

    On a similar but different note, I think Pete Rose will get reinstated to baseball and in the HOF after he dies – but not until.

  • Buddy

    Rose would be a member of my “Major League Baseball Museum.” Off the subject, but it sounds like Greg Maddux is leaving the Cubs for the Rangers. 1) Are you surprised? 2) Do you care?


    I think Santo belongs in the HOF, and it’s a shame they didn’t vote him in alive. When I vist the HOF some day in my life, when I am done visiting, I am going to spit on the HOF as a fuck you for not voting Ron Santo in alive. I’ve already figured out how I am going to do it also. I will be talking with one of the workers there, and then when I am done, I will be like, “one more thing, (spitting motion). That’s for not voting Ron Santo in alive.
    For those who are interested, I created a FB group for Ronnie 5 years ago:!/group.php?gid=2213169966

    And the event for next week’s vote:!/events/270729666302899/

    Join if interested

    RE Maddux: NBD. He was a roving instructor/assistant with the team, I don’t think he wants to coach until his kids are a little older.

  • Buddy

    Nice road win for the Illini tonight.

  • Doc Raker

    Who would go to a museum curated by Buddy? Norm? The HOF is a very cool museum, a baseball fan should go but it is marketing a contrived game. The people in the Hall didn’t make mankind better, they aren’t on par with Thomas Edison, Jonas Salk, Louis Pasteur or Steven Jobs. The people in the Hall are on par with Homer Simpson, Gone with the Wind, KISS and other entertainers. Inducting players into the hall is marketing just like the Oscars is marketing, it creates interest to attract the public. Ronnie belongs in the Hall but it is an imperfect place about a contrived game as cool as it is. I doubt Buddy can improve upon it.

  • Doc Raker

    Buddy or anyone else is what I meant.

  • flyslinger2

    Chuck beat me to my comment. A travesty it is and it also goes to show how watered down exceptional performance is getting to be. This ties in with my thought the other day on parity between teams, etc. To me that is mediocrity. I never NEVER tell my kids that I want them to be average in school, work, relationships with others or their respect for their country. I want them to excel at everything as long as they don’t harm anyone else in the process. Santo performed that same way every day. Cal Ripken is another equally obvious comparison. And please note, I intentionally (and rarely every quote stats on here) didn’t quote one stat in Santo’s defense. And I’m not dissing those who can. My perspective on a player is that if he truly loves the game, his stats will reflect that. If he also has respect for his fellow man his off-field behavior will exemplify that and that is the bigger stat and that is what truly makes a hall of famer.
    Rose, by comparison, truly was HOF material based on his on-field performance. Carlie hustle was every kids role model for a long time. We kids fought to use his moniker when we were playing our backyard wiffle ball games. He also knew the rules and he made a conscience design to directly disobey them. Nobody else coerced him. He now is NOT a role model and his on-field performance is not even a thought anymore to me. I never reference him when I discuss great players from the past with my kids. And he should NEVER be considered for the HOF. No forgiveness, nuttin.

  • lizzie

    I miss Sherm, and I miss shermrants. Those were the days … back when you boys thought I might be Carrie Muskat in disguise …. 😉

  • RichF

    If it truly is a Hall of Fame, Santo should have been in long before now. I only hope that when he is voted in his family rejects any attempt to participate to enshrine him just to show their disdain of baseball’s elitism.

  • Seymour Butts

    @Lizzie…. Still not sure you aren’t, but it would answer a question I remember one of us asking of Joe on Shermrants. “Is Lizzie hot?”

  • Buddy

    A Hall of Fame with Homer Simpson and KISS would be worth visiting!

  • lizzie

    @Seymour, right, I remember that one too and I don’t think I ever thanked Joe for his usual discretion in skipping right over that question!

  • Doc Raker

    Lizzie is way smarter than Carrie Muskrat, brains are very attractive in my book, brains elevate the hotness factor 3 notches for sure. Where is Sherm? He is missed.

  • Eddie Von White

    Fly – To be average means you are the best of the worst and the worst of the best. No one should ever want to be average in my opinion.

  • Doc Raker

    OK OK, it was me, I ask Joe if Lizzie was hot and didn’t even get a picture. Is Wizzie hot? Katie maybe?