DALLAS -- Ron Santo, the ultra-popular former Cubs third baseman, is the newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Hall's 16-member Veterans Committee for the Golden Era, the period from 1947-72, announced that Santo was the only one of 10 nominees to attain the necessary 75 percent of votes. Santo received support on 15 of the 16 ballots.
Longtime pitcher and Yankees broadcaster Jim Kaat finished second with 10 ballots. Dodgers great Gil Hodges, who managed the Mets to a world championship, and the White Sox's Minnie Minoso received nine votes each. Twelve votes were required for election.
Santo, who died Dec. 3, 2010, played 14 seasons (1960-73) with the Cubs and one (1974) with the White Sox, totaling 342 home runs, 1,331 RBIs and 2,254 hits in 2,243 games. He also won five Gold Gloves.
"The numbers are there," Hall of Famer Billy Williams, a member of this Veterans Committee and Santo's Cubs teammate, said yesterday at a news conference. "Everybody saw the numbers, the home runs, the Gold Gloves, and I think they look at it with a different view, saying, 'This guy should be in the Hall of Fame.' And of course, this is what we came up with. When you get 15 out of 16 votes, a lot of people saw him in a different light."