Chicago Cubs: The Heroes of Wrigley Series presents Ron Santo

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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Headed to the Hall – at long last

A change in voting structure in 2010, gave Santo a new, final opportunity to reach the Hall of Fame. The Golden Era Committee, a 16-member group which, every three years, considers ten candidates identified by the Historical Overview Committee from the 1947 to the 1972 era.

Santo’s best years occurred in the 1960s, an era when offensive statistics were relatively lower than other eras due to enlarged strike zones and raised pitcher’s mounds. His statistics were largely overlooked, as voters did not initially focus on his high walk totals and defense, factors that are now valued more by the methods of sabermetrics.

Even though Santo didn’t reach the traditional achievements such as 500 home runs or 3,000 hits, Bill James, the pioneer of sabermetrics, ranked Santo among the 100 greatest players of all-time and sixth among all third baseman. Baseball enthusiasts and sabermetricians continued their ply to get Santo inducted into the Hall of Fame.

In 2012, the Golden Era Committee, that included the likes of Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson and former teammate Billy Williams, elected Santo posthumously into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2012, two years after his death.

After his passing, on the day Santo was finally enshrined into the Hall of Fame, the Cubs starting lineup all did the “heel click” as they took their positions in the field at the start of the game to pay tribute.

The self-proclaimed “single biggest Cubs fan of all-time,” finally got well-deserved, long overdue Hall of Fame nod.

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Ron Santo spent a total of 34 years in the Cubs organization, 14 years as a player and 20 years in the broadcast booth.  Whatever obstacle Santo was dealt, he always showed resilience in the face of adversity.  He still remains one of the most beloved Cubs in the history of the franchise.

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