Chicago Cubs: ‘There is something about Chicago’
Once completing high school, he had all 16 major league teams interested and after him. The highest offers came from the New York Yankees and the Cincinnati Reds. The lowest offer, coming from the Chicago Cubs. When trying to decide where to sign, he confided in his father, tell him, “There is something about Chicago. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about Chicago.”
After choosing to sign with the Cubs, he fondly remembers walking out of the clubhouse and entering Wrigley Field for the first time. “It was like walking on air. There was a feeling of electricity that I’ve never had.”
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Throughout the 1960s, Santo became known as a smooth fielder with outstanding right-handed power. He proved to be extremely durable, playing in 390 consecutive games. From April 19, 1964, through May 31, 1966, he appeared in every game at third base, establishing a league record of 364 consecutive games played at the position. His 164 games played at third base in 1965, remains a Major League record to this day.
In 1965, at the age of 25, he became the youngest player in team history to be named the team captain. It was an honor that Santo took with the highest regard.
During his career, hit 342 home runs (fourth-most all-time for a third baseman at the time of his retirement), drove in 1,331 RBIs (fifth-most all-time for a third baseman at the time of his retirement), and was a nine-time National League All-Star. From 1961-70, he averaged 27 home runs and 101 runs batted in.
He was stellar in the field as well. He led the league in chances for a third baseman for nine straight seasons, establishing a Major League record, led the league in assists, seven straight seasons, a National League record and led the league in double plays six different seasons. His defense didn’t go unnoticed as he was awarded the Gold Glove five times, every season from 1964-68. Ron Santo played 2,102 games at third base, the most ever by a Chicago Cub.
While Ticker to Evers to Chance is the most famous infield in Cubs history, Santo was a part of the tremendous Cubs infield that was compiled of Santo at third, Don Kessinger at short, Glenn Beckert at second and Hall of Famer Ernie Banks at first. The foursome made the All-Star team in 1969.