Once again, it’s a familiar tune in Chicago – “Wait Until Next Year”. Ron Santo was denied entry to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. Santo only received 39 votes, or 60.9% of the vote, coming up 9 votes short for entry. An individual needs to gain 75% of the Veterans Committee votes in order to gain admission. In 2007, Santo received 57 votes (almost 70% of the vote) and came up just 5 votes shy of the tally needed for entry.
Because of medical issues that Santo has suffered with diabetes, time is of the essence for Santo. Although Santo was diagnosed with the disease as a teenager, he never told the Cubs about his ailment until 1971 – during his 11th season with the Cubs. He played for the Cubs from 1960 through 1973 and with the cross-town Chicago White Sox in 1974 and then retired from the game he loved. Santo has been in the Cubs radio broadcast booth for WGN Radio since 1990 – the 2009 season will mark his 20th year as the Cubs color broadcaster.
As for his stats, they speak for themselves. Santo was only a career .270 hitter, but he won 5 Gold Glove Awards and made 9 All-Star Game appearances. Santo was the picture of endurance during his playing days – he still holds the National League record for consecutive games played for a 3rd baseman – 364 games from April 1964 through May 1966.
Santo does not hide his disappointment with the Veterans Committee for not granting him admission to the Hall. Over the years he has been a bit outspoken, and some say that this has led to his exclusion from the game’s highest honor. His comments this year after the vote was announced probably won’t help: “It’s so ridiculous that nobody gets in again. I can’t understand it.” Here’s hoping to brighter Hall of Fame pastures for Santo in 2009.
No post-1043 player was elected by the Veterans Committee to the Hall, but the committee did vote in Joe Gordon who was on the pre-1943 ballot.