Thursday, September 18, 2008

Reposting w/Update: RON SANTO Should Be In Hall of Fame

With the great news coming out of Cooperstown that Ronnie has made the list for another shot at the Hall of Fame, we thought that we'd re-post this piece on why Ron Santo should be in the Hall of Fame.

See the announcement here. You can follow the "@SantoFans" on Twitter and on their website here.

We couldn't have said it any better ... so we'll let the Cubs "Closer", Kerry Wood, speak for himself:

"The Hall of Fame vote and Ron Santo are talked about a lot in our clubhouse. He's been denied 18 times, and after each vote we'll look at his stats and ask, 'Are these Hall of Fame numbers?' You'll get a yes from 95% of the guys. When you start digging into the numbers, I don't think there's any doubt. How can you not vote for a guy who was a nine-time All-Star, earned five Gold Gloves, had four top-10 MVP finishes, three top-10 home run finishes and four .300-plus seasons, and led the National League in walks four times? And if you look at all the third basemen who played between 1950 and 1975, Ron ranks second in HRs, third in hits, RBIs and games played, fourth in slugging, and seventh in on-base percentage. And he did it despite having diabetes. For him to play in the big leagues at that level is amazing.

"For some reason, third basemen get jobbed in the voting. There are only 13 of them—three Negro Leagues stars and 10 major leaguers. Nothing personal, but if George Kell is in [see chart], then Ronny should be too. Ronny crushed him in HRs, RBIs, hits and runs, and he did it with a respectable .277 career batting average, which is almost 25 points higher than the NL average during his career. I'm not saying Brooks Robinson doesn't belong in the Hall, but Ronny played eight fewer seasons and finished with 74 more HRs, a higher batting average and on-base percentage, and nearly the same RBI total. I know, Ronny never played in the postseason. Neither did Kell or Ronny's Hall of Fame teammates Ernie Banks and Ferguson Jenkins. Neither did Billy Williams when he was with the Cubs.

"I keep it simple: Look at the third basemen who are in, then look at Ronny's numbers. I'm amazed he isn't in yet. His next chance is in 2009. When it happens, and if the schedule lets us, I'm going to be there for the ceremony. He's the epitome of Chicago baseball. He's still part of this team. He lives and dies with it. In fact, I think we've put him in the hospital a few times. He should get in just for that."

How Ron Santo stacks up with his third-basemen peers in Cooperstown:

Ron Santo (1960-74) .277 342 1,331 9 5
Eddie Mathews (1952-68) .271 512 1,453 12 0
Brooks Robinson (1955-77) .267 268 1,357 18 16
Wade Boggs (1982-99) .328 118 1,014 12 2
Mike Schmidt (1972-89) .267 548 1,595 12 10
George Kell (1943-57) .306 78 870 10 0

Read the whole ESPN - The Magazine Article Here

Cubs fans, even a non-baseball fan, look at the chart above and ask if George Kell, who played with Philly (Athletics), the Tigers, Red Sox, White Sox, and Orioles between 1943 and '57, is in the Hall - Why not Ron?

I don't know for certain but I do not recall any of the others playing with any more passion and hustle than Santo. I wasn't born when Kell played, and I don't remember much of Eddie Matthews as a player - I remember he managed Atlanta when Aaron spanked #715 - but I do have fond and vivid memories of Robinson, Boggs and Schmidt. I wouldn't pretend to diminish any of these great players careers because each of them deserve to be in Cooperstown. I point this out only to say that Ron Santo was every bit the player (and more) that these others were and he deserves to be there too. 18 years is long enough.

H/T ESPN -The Magazine

No comments: