Ron Santo elected to Hall of Fame by veterans panel
Ron Santo was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Monday, chosen by the Veterans Committee almost a year after the Chicago Cubs third baseman died hoping for the honor.
Santo drew 15 votes from the 16-member panel. It took 75 percent — 12 votes — to get chosen.
Santo was a nine-time All-Star, hit 342 home runs and won five Gold Gloves. He was a Cubs broadcaster for two decades, eagerly rooting for his favorite team on the air.
Jim Kaat was second with 10 votes, Gil Hodges and Minnie Minoso each drew nine and Tony Oliva got eight on the 10-person Golden Era ballot.
Santo joined former Cubs teammates Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Ferguson Jenkins in the Hall. That famed quartet did most everything at Wrigley Field through the 1960s except reach the World Series.
“Some people brought out a lot other than numbers for Ron Santo, talked about what he did for the community,” said Williams, a member of the voting panel. “The numbers are there. ... I think they looked at it with a different view, saying this guy should be in the Hall of Fame.”
Santo will be inducted into Cooperstown on July 22, along with any players elected by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Jan. 9. Bernie Williams joins Jack Morris, Barry Larkin and others on that ballot.
Santo never came close to election during his 15 times on the BBWAA ballot, peaking at 43 percent — far short of the needed 75 percent in his last year of eligibility in 1998.
A star while playing with diabetes, a disease that eventually cost him both legs below the knees, Santo died last December from complications of bladder cancer at age 70.
Santo had come close in previous elections by the Veterans Committee. The panel has been revamped several times in the last decade, aimed at giving a better chance to deserving candidates.