Monday, December 05, 2011
Why I am mad at Ron Santo's Hall of Fame selection
Ron Santo got selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame today by the Veteran's Committee, and the primary emotion I am feeling is being pissed off.
Not at the decision.
Santo had a great career. I understood the arguments pro and con but I can never understand how someone could get mad that someone got IN.
I'm mad at the timing.
The last time Ron Santo played a major league game, it was 1974.
I was 2 years old.
I'm now 39.
His stats have been unchanged for 37 years.
He was on the ballot 15 times and never got in. Fine. That's the BBWAA decision.
But then there were several Veterans Committee votes where he was out as well.
And now he is in, posthumously.
Santo, who became the beloved tipsy voice of the Cubs, who was filled with joy and love for his team and the fans who loved him, would have been the greatest Hall of Fame speech since... well... Phil Rizzuto, another borderline Hall of Famer who became a goofy and beloved announcer.
How wonderful would a Ron Santo Hall of Fame speech be?
What a celebration of fun, life, love and baseball it would be!
Instead it is going to be bittersweet. People wondering what he would say and how he would have reacted instead of SEEING the tears of joy.
I had the same complaint a few years ago when Joe Gordon was put in posthumously. The stats never changed. So why wait?
Why string a guy along? Here's the danger of the whole "He's a Hall of Famer but not a first ballot Hall of Famer" bullsh*t.
You hold off on the vote and they may never get to experience it.
Ron Santo has become a baseball immortal, but never got to KNOW that in his lifetime.
If you think Jim Kaat is a Hall of Famer, put him in on the next vote. I don't want to see any more children or widows of Hall of Famers giving the speeches.
Ron Santo IS a Hall of Famer. It's no longer a matter of opinion. It's a matter of fact. And future generations will see his plaque and not know if he was in on the first ballot or the 15th or selected by the Veterans' Committee.
He deserved to have that moment.
He didn't get it.
And that makes me mad.
But THIS makes me laugh.