Entries Tagged as 'ron santo'

Joe P’s tribute to Santo

If you haven’t seen it, check out Joe Posnanski’s tribute to Ron Santo on SI.com

For many years, Ron Santo’s identity was wrapped up in being left outside. He was, simply, the greatest player not in the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is not to say that he was a better baseball player than Dick Allen or Minnie Minoso or Bert Blyleven or Ken Boyer or numerous other terrific players who have not yet been elected and inducted. That is a matter opinion. This is not to say he was a more egregious oversight than any of these players or others. That, too, is opinion.

Very well played. 

PS here is the AP report on Ronnie’s funeral and wake.

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Ron Santo passes away

cubs conv sat 053 My friend Tyler called me Friday afternoon with the sad news that Cubs broadcaster and former third baseman Ron Santo had died.  It had been such a busy day, I hadn’t heard the news reports. 

Tyler lamented, “I wonder now will they induct him in the Hall?”

I don’t think he was insinuating that players should be inducted on the basis of sympathy (although no doubt, others may feel that way).  However, it would be a sad irony if he did get his invite to the Hall posthumously. Mr Santo made no secret (though he did it with such humbleness) that he wished to get to Cooperstown. 

I’ll be honest… Santo was not my favorite broadcaster behind the mike.  I don’t think I’m alone in that.  He was entering an modern era that was not his.  That said, as a representative of the Cubs, a liaison to the public, a go-between from baseball to Joe and Jane Public, there was no one better.  He was as real as it gets in this media-phony world of broadcasting.  His love for the Cubs was atypically genuine.  For that, I will miss him. 

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Ron Santo re-ups with WGN

cubs conv sat 053 I’ll admit it.  Ron Santo isn’t my favorite broadcaster to listen to.  But like Harry Caray in his later years, I can forgive that.  For all I can tell, Ron Santo is probably as genuine as you’re going to get in a business full of cynicism and insincerity. 

Which is why I’m happy he signed a three-year extension with WGN Radio to do the color commentary with Pat Hughes (thanks, Pat).

Like Harry, no one seems to love the game or the Cubs more (and dare I say it, the enthusiasm doesn’t appear to be an act like so many in the broadcasting biz):

"I love what I do, and it keeps me alive, as far as I’m concerned," Santo said from his Arizona home. "When I go in [to negotiate], I could say I’m looking for a two-year [deal] and they’ll say, ‘Why don’t you take a three-year contract?’"

I’m normally not so sentimental in such matters but in Santo’s case, I’ll make an exception.  He deserves more (*cough* Hall of Fame *cough*) but I’m happy for the news.

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Ron Santo: The last chance for the Vet Committee to get it right

Santo at the 2008 Cubs Convention

 

Stop me if you heard this one.  Ron Santo was one of ten players selected to this year’s Veteran’s Committee Ballot.  And once again, he will need a 75 percent to make it to the Hall of Fame.  Results will be announced on December 8th.

The kicker is that this is Santo’s last chance.  If he doesn’t get in this year, he will have no chance to be selected to next year’s ballot. 

I won’t bother reciting Santo’s stats.  Anyone who’s followed the issue, is familiar with them.  Or belabor the point that he was playing in a pitcher’s era.  Or go on and on about his defensive prowess.  You all know about that. 

All that doesn’t even take in consideration his work with the Cubs as a broadcaster and all-around ambassador for the game. 

If you’re looking for a good bio, please read Al Yellon’s piece on Bleed Cubbie Blue when he chose Santo as the #7 Cub of all time.  It’s one of most detailed articles you’ll find on him. 

The esteemed Joe Sheehan says that the "omission of Ron Santo is the most egregious mistake ever made by the Baseball Writers Association of America" and calls for the Veterans Committee to rectify that mistake.  On a personal level,  I know a lot of baseball people and almost every I know support Ron Santo for the Hall.  Yes, that includes White Sox fans. 

So Veterans Committee, get it right and get it done.  Vote for Ron Santo. 

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2008 Cubs Convention: Wrap-up

I’m back in warm Champaign-Urbana. And by “warm”, I mean it was in the twenties and not in single digits. Practically a heat wave.

Many thanks to my buddy Tyler who I didn’t see all weekend but who lent me his place for the weekend while I attended the Cubs Convention. His place was well within walking distance and had all the amenities I needed (an Internet connection being the primary one).

Sweet Lou getting his photo taken with a fan.

This was my second Cubs Convention and while it doesn’t make me an expert, I did know the ropes a little more and was a little less intimidated by the crowds, lines, and excitement.

Ron Santo during “Storytelling with Cubs Legends”

Last year I spent a good amount of time acquiring autographs. Not this year. I decided to forego this in favor of enjoying the atmosphere, taking in a few talks and hopefully meeting a few people. I didn’t spend a lot of time or money on memorabilia. Just a Divisional Champion ballcap for my son and 3 pins.

These guys were playing all throughout the convention

By the way, something of interest… Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue caught Piniella in a Q&A and Lou responded with a tentative opening day lineup:

Soriano, lf
Theriot, ss
Lee, 1b
Ramirez, 3b
Fukudome, rf
DeRosa, 2b
Soto, c
Pie, cf
Zambrano, p

I don’t hold much in lineups formulated well before Spring Training but it’s something for us to munch on.

Oh, one last thing. the answer to the trivia question that the Baseball Hall of Fame exhibit (at the Convention) asked and had everyone stumped. The question again:

Which player has played the most games for the Yankees?

A. Yogi Berra

B. Lou Gehrig

C. Bernie Williams

D. Mickey Mantle

Many people in the audience either guessed Berra or Gehrig. The answer: Mickey Mantle with 2410 games. Gehrig is second (2164), Williams 3rd (2076) and Berra is fourth (2116).

The convention was fun and now it’s less than a month till pitchers and catchers report.

Go Cubbies!

See all the photos from the convention at The Baseball Zealot Photo Gallery

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