Update- Santo in! 15 of 16 votes

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Why Ron Santo Should Be in the Hall

Ron Santo, the best third baseman of his era and among the 10 best ever, belongs in the Hall of Fame. It’s that simple.

For the last decade, third base has been one of baseball’s glamour positions: Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Ryan Zimmerman, Scott Rolen, Adrian Beltre all bring an impressive mix of hitting and fielding tools. But that kind of depth at the hot corner is rare. The 1980s had Mike Schmidt, George Brett and Wade Boggs, but in most eras it is obvious who the best third sacker in the game is.

For a decade beginning in 1963, the obvious choice was Ron Santo.

Eddie Mathews was aging and Harmon Killebrew and Dick Allen didn’t play that much third base, even when they were stationed (or stationary) there. Brooks Robinson was the greatest fielding third baseman ever, but Santo was a five-time Gold Glover in his own right and a definitively superior hitter. (Ken Boyer was very good but behind Santo as a hitter and Robinson as a fielder.)

Robinson hit at least 25 homers just once, drove in more than 90 runs four times, scored at least 90 once, batted .300 twice, had an on-base percentage over .350 just once and a slugging percentage over .450 just two times. Sure, it was an era dominated by pitching, and offensive numbers plummeted. Santo was probably reminded of the trend every time his Cubs faced Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson. Yet he produced at remarkable levels, given the era. At least 25 homers? Santo did it eight straight years, surpassing 30 four straight times, and driving in 94 to 123 runs in each of those seasons. He also scored 90 runs or more five times, in part because he could hit, surpassing .300 four times, but also because of his impressive plate discipline — his O.B.P. was above .375 six times.

While Robinson was rarely among the league leaders in offensive categories, Santo had seven straight years ranked in the top 10 in home runs and R.B.I. In that span, he was in the top 10 in on-base percentage six times, finishing first twice. (He led the league in walks four times and was second once in a five-year span.) And, again, he was an elite fielder —in the modern sabermetric of Total Zone Runs, he (retroactively) ranked first three times and was in the top five seven times.

This is to take nothing away from Robinson, whose first-ballot entry to the Hall raised no eyebrows. But it underscores how underrated Santo has been.

The Hall has far too few third basemen. But even if there were players lined up out the door, Santo has earned his place. After Schmidt, common wisdom holds that — in varying order depending on the debater — the best ever have been Brett, Boggs, Mathews, Robinson, Frank “Home Run” Baker and Chipper Jones. (Alex Rodriguez had too many of his best years as a shortstop, and the other 21st-century stars are too young to judge yet.) While it’s impossible to compare Sant with Negro League stars like Ray Dandridge, Judy Johnson and Jud Wilson, Santo ranks as high as, if not higher than, the other Hall third basemen: Pie Traynor, George Kell, Freddie Lindstrom, and Jimmy Collins.

In other words, Santo ranks anywhere from 8th to 10th in baseball history at third base. At first base, the equivalent might be Willie McCovey or Eddie Murray, at second base maybe it’s Frankie Frisch, at catcher it might be Gary Carter. In other words, the 8th-, 9th- or the 10th-best player of all time at any position has always gotten into the Hall without having to wait for the Veterans Committee.

It’s too bad that the baseball writers and the Veterans Committee couldn’t figure out Santo’s worth before his death last year. Still, righting the wrong now would give his family and long-suffering Cub fans a reason to click their heels in celebration.
http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/11/why-ron-santo-should-be-in-the-hall/
 

Mr. Cub

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Good read. Santo probably should have made it long ago. For whatever reason he hasn't though. He should get in this winter.
 

Anno Catuli

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I think my friends at Bricks and Ivy radio (which apparently now is done being recorded) said it best after the 2008 failed vote.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR20fi_vjTk]A letter to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame - YouTube[/ame]
 

Lex L.

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Why does this discussion have to be restricted to 3B? Is this someones idea because they don't want to hear that if Phil Rizzuto is in the Hall of Fame, there are several other players that should be as well? There's this sensitivity to bringing up Phil Rizzuto because he only made it in because he's a Yankee and everyone knows it...and the media (and perhaps Yankee fans) don't want to face the music on this.

What sad is how HOF always try to pretend that they take this responsibility so seriously, yet, there's still so much asinine nonsense that happens with regard to who gets in and who doesnt.
 

brett05

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Santo is not a hall of famer and his peers agree on his exclusion. He hit 2/3 of his homers at home and like 50 points higher at home too. He got a massive benefit from the Friendly Confines

As for Dick Allen not playing 3b, he did over Santo when on the White Sox

He was a jerk to the media and his teammates when he was a player. Ge just doesn't cut it. He was a good player but not hall worthy. Not even close. Sorry
 
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Lex L.

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Santo is not a gall of famer and his peers agree on his exclusion. He hit 2/3 of his homers at home and like 50 points higher at home too. He got a massive benefit from the Friendly Confines

As for Dick Allen not playing 3b, he did over Santo when on the White Sox

He was a jerk to the media and his teammates when he was a player. Ge just doesn't cut it. He was a good player but not hall worthy. Not even close. Sorry
Most people don't realize that the wind blows in more often at Wrigley than it blows out.
 

brett05

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Most people don't realize that the wind blows in more often at Wrigley than it blows out.
Now it does. Back then it did not from what people have told me. Honestly the way I remember it wasn't until the early 90's when that changed

Santo's numbers at home kinda prove that to be true
 

brett05

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He may have been the best third basemen, but that underscores how weak the position is

The fact is the people that saw him play (writers and peers) all said not even close when voting. Only his fans think he's in. That's unfortunately not enough
 

Rice Cube

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He may have been the best third basemen, but that underscores how weak the position is

The fact is the people that saw him play (writers and peers) all said not even close when voting. Only his fans think he's in. That's unfortunately not enough
Santo's fans extend past just Cubs fans. We'll find out in a couple weeks whether that extends to whatever HOF committee is supposed to be voting.
 

Lex L.

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Now it does. Back then it did not from what people have told me. Honestly the way I remember it wasn't until the early 90's when that changed

Santo's numbers at home kinda prove that to be true
Do you seriously think you can pass that off as a credible source?

A lot of Cubs fans would tell you the same thing now based on Wrigleys reputation. But it's not really accurate. Why would you assume first hand testimony from back in the day is correct when you'd likely get that same first hand testimony today, when it's incorrect?
 
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brett05

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Do you seriously think you can pass that off as a credible source?

A lot of Cubs fans would tell you the same thing now based on Wrigleys reputation. But it's not really accurate. Why would you assume first hand testimony from back in the day is correct when you'd likely get that same first hand testimony today, when it's incorrect?
Because Santo's numbers prove evidence of the validity as I stated earlier?
 

Rice Cube

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Because Santo's numbers prove evidence of the validity as I stated earlier?
Which numbers? His on-base? His overall value? His defense?

Probably more than 75% of the baseball-watching world knows that Ron Santo should be in the Hall of Fame whether they like him or not. The question is whether the 16 dudes voting for him in a week also think that way.
 

brett05

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Which numbers? His on-base? His overall value? His defense?

Probably more than 75% of the baseball-watching world knows that Ron Santo should be in the Hall of Fame whether they like him or not. The question is whether the 16 dudes voting for him in a week also think that way.
based on the continued times Santo doesn't make even a remote chance to the Hall, I think you mean 7.5% not 75%.

"Ron Santo’s case for the Hall of Fame is based totally on the inflation of his batting statistics by playing his home games in the “Friendly Confines”. Wrigley Field is one of the best hitters parks in baseball. Santo’s batting average was .296 at home and .257 on the road, his on base percentage was .383 at home and only .342 on the road, he hit 216 homeruns in Wrigley but only 126 on the road. If not for the effects of playing in Wrigley no one would even think he belongs in the Hall, he would be recognized as what he truly was, a good but not great 3rd sacker."

Again, his numbers say no to the Hall of Fame. Now once again, baseball has changed the Veterans Committee. I believe this is the fourth possibly fifth different time the HOF voting has been changed which in theory should help Ron improve his chances. To date it hasn't.
 

brett05

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They broke down Santo on MLB NETWORK, He legitly is better then 95% of 3B in the hall
Bad Argument. I know it is used, but it really should never be used. If there are guys in the Hall that shouldn't be that doesn't mean that guys that have "better" numbers should go in because a worse one is in. It really should mean we've let the wrong guys in and not to compound the mistake.
 

Rice Cube

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based on the continued times Santo doesn't make even a remote chance to the Hall, I think you mean 7.5% not 75%.

"Ron Santo’s case for the Hall of Fame is based totally on the inflation of his batting statistics by playing his home games in the “Friendly Confines”. Wrigley Field is one of the best hitters parks in baseball. Santo’s batting average was .296 at home and .257 on the road, his on base percentage was .383 at home and only .342 on the road, he hit 216 homeruns in Wrigley but only 126 on the road. If not for the effects of playing in Wrigley no one would even think he belongs in the Hall, he would be recognized as what he truly was, a good but not great 3rd sacker."

Again, his numbers say no to the Hall of Fame. Now once again, baseball has changed the Veterans Committee. I believe this is the fourth possibly fifth different time the HOF voting has been changed which in theory should help Ron improve his chances. To date it hasn't.
The fact is that he can still play defense and run the bases well even if he's not hitting, plus his OBP is still almost a hundred points over his batting average so he's going to take his walks anyway. Those are important. Ron Santo was a valuable player and should be a Hall of Famer. The homer numbers are also suppressed overall because of the deadball era. The fact that he still got those stats is awesome. Most people who would put Ron Santo in the HOF don't have a vote, and the people who have votes don't often use them well, which is why it took Bert Blyleven a thousand years to get in.
 

brett05

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The fact is that he can still play defense and run the bases well even if he's not hitting, plus his OBP is still almost a hundred points over his batting average so he's going to take his walks anyway. Those are important. Ron Santo was a valuable player and should be a Hall of Famer. The homer numbers are also suppressed overall because of the deadball era. The fact that he still got those stats is awesome. Most people who would put Ron Santo in the HOF don't have a vote, and the people who have votes don't often use them well, which is why it took Bert Blyleven a thousand years to get in.
He's good, I don't deny that, just not hall of fame good. The large disparity Santo shows at home vs the road is a MASSIVE killer to him. Minor points that shouldn't necessarily be considered but unfortunately are: his perceived lack of clutchness, no playoff moments, a bad teammate, bad to the media.

And you are right Bert should have been in long ago. Santo not so much. Certainly not in the voters eyes and not in the former players eyes (his peers)
 
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