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Taking a break from the rumor mill to enjoy some of the heart-felt reactions to Ron Santo’s selection to the Hall of Fame yesterday…

  • The Santo family is, understandably, thrilled by the news, but frustrated by the timing. But Vicki Santo said she knows Ron would ultimately be happy. “I can see him sitting on the sofa here and he’d be pumping his fist in the air, saying, ‘Yes, yes,’” Vicki said. “We feel he was meant to be there …. Unfortunately it didn’t happen in his lifetime. But this is going to continue his legacy, who he was, and what he meant to baseball. I think it’s going to be a tremendous event in Chicago, how he persevered.”
  • Cubs great and long-time friend Billy Williams, who was a part of the Golden Era Committee that elected Santo (and who lobbied for his friend): “When you look at his numbers on paper, he had some good years in the big leagues. When you look at that, we’re measured by what we do on the baseball field and sometimes we’re measured by what we do off the baseball field. With Santo, he was a broadaster, he really built up the game of baseball and of course, [Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation], he worked for them, and he raised more than $60 million for Juvenile Diabetes. He did a great job through the years. All those numbers, this is what I’m most proud of, all those numbers, he never did complain — ‘I feel this, I feel that.’ He went out and played the game the way it should be played and played hard. It was tough for him. But he still put up numbers that enabled him to be in the baseball Hall of Fame.”
  • Cubs Owner and Chairman Tom Ricketts: “All who knew Ron or welcomed him into their homes on the radio recognize he was so much more than a Hall of Fame baseball player. As an athlete, he was our All-Star. As a radio analyst, he carried our passion. For those battling illness or disease, he remains an inspiration. And for all of us who had the honor of calling him our friend, he is forever beloved. Though it is bittersweet that Ron is not here to enjoy this day, we are comforted by the pride members of the Santo family have for their husband, father and grandfather. On behalf of the Chicago Cubs organization and all of our fans, we congratulate Ron Santo’s family on this historic day and look forward to his induction next summer.”
  • Fellow Hall of Fame third baseman and contemporary (and another Golden Era Committee member) Brooks Robinson: “Everyone on our committee could not see how he did not get in with the writers. This is really the best way to do it — the way we did it here.”
  • MLB Commissioner Bud Selig: “This is a great day for baseball and for Cubs fans everywhere. I am thrilled that the memory of my dear friend Ron Santo will be preserved forever in the halls of Cooperstown. As a star player and a beloved broadcaster, Ron was a staple of the Cubs’ experience every single day for decades, representing all the goodwill of both the franchise and the game he loved. I always admired Ron’s courage and loyalty, and I miss him very much. Today, I am so proud to know that his contributions to baseball will receive the highest honor. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate Ron’s wife Vicki, their four children and their grandchildren.”
  • cubs

    To Late !! Baseball needs to change this rule about how long a player waits to be nominated for the hall of fame, santo should have been in years ago so when he is alive and could enjoy all the hard work he did, to late mlb !!!

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      Agreed.

  • Caleb

    I liked Rickett’s statement the best.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I did, too.

      • RoughRiider

        I did, as well. My early and late teen years were in the Ron Santo, Ernie Banks & Billy Williams era. By far, Ron was my favorite player of all time. I am glad he finally made it but both saddened and angry it took so long.

  • miggy80

    Congratulations to the Santo Family. If anybody didn’t know, Mr. Ricketts is a very classy man and glad to have him as a Cubbie. I know they say there’s no beer in heaven but I hope there was an exception so Ron and Harry could share an ice cold Budweiser to celebrate.

  • Dougy D

    Too late is right. Unfortunately, Santo couldn’t experience the moment he dreamed of. I do think that he would be proud that it was his fellow players that put him in though. It just goes to show that the writers have no business being the ones that decide. I have no problem with them being a part of it (kind of like the Heisman, I think), but if the system were different Santo would have LIVED as a hall of famer. (No offense Brett, being a writer and all. I am guessing you aren’t in on the voting yet though.)

    Instances like this leave me little respect for the Hall of Fame and make me wonder if I will ever have the desire to visit it. Baseball has a special place in my soul, and the hall of fame has no bearings on that.

    Congratulations to the Santo family though. It will be another opportunity to celebrate and remember the man that Ron was. Hair piece and all.

    • Boogens

      It really wasn’t the writers that kept Santo out in recent years. It was the Veterans Committee, which, according to informal reports, was unduly influenced (and biased) by Joe Morgan. I believe that that committee is comprised of current HOFers and it hasn’t voted a single person in the HOF during it’s entire existence. The thinking was that some of the members of this committee would have played with the players that were up for the voye and that they would know if the were worthy of the HOF and clean up after the writers to make sure that worthy candidates weren’t left out because of the potential unfamiliarity of the writers.

      Santo came very close with the witers towards the end of the period that they voted on him. I believe the tail end of that period coincided with a portion of the steroid era so that may have unfairly hurt his numbers when comparing them against the numbers that the modern day players were putting up. It’s also fair to say that the longer that it’s been since a player played that he becomes considerably less familiar to the current writers and they may place a greater reliance on comparing numbers.

  • adam

    I can not take credit for this idea, but thought it was worth sharing. As Cubs fans we can 1. Be mad at baseball, HOF 2. lament in the bittersweet feeling and move on 3. Take a page from Ron Santo and live life to its fullest and throw the biggest celebration the HOF will ever see. Shut down the streets, open the stadium, drop the ticker tape from the skies, and do it all in the name of Santo and JDRF (his other great love). Call it a 5k race, or a pub crawl or just another day in Wrigleyville, but this fan base should figure out a way to celebrate and raise a couple of bucks for a good cause.

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