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.

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  1. You know why this is good? There was a time -- for many of the last 39 years, and for infinity before that -- when Ron Santo, he of the .277 batting average and no championships and no flashing offensive numbers, would never have been considered for the Hall of Fame. I remember Bill James championing his cause in the 1980s, and being ridiculed.

    But we're smarter now. Santo's election proves that.

    While it may have come in time for Ron Santo, it opens the door for all the future Ron Santos. And that's good.

  2. I think players should be on the ballot for one year. What's to think over? Is the guy one of the greatest to ever play the game, or not? You shouldn't need time to make a case. It should be that obvious. If it's not, you don't get in.

  3. @ 'Section 36'.

    What you are saying is that Joe Dimaggio, Mel Ott, and many more should have been banned from the HOF because they did not get in the 1st time. Your comment may be the stupidest comment made on any subject in the History Of The World

  4. Frankly, that's the main reason I think Joe D is overrated. The voters who saw him play didn't vote him in right away.

    But, more to your point, I think more of those guys would get in on the first ballot if they knew there would only be the one ballot.

    As for the rest, yes. They shouldn't get in. Are you a living legend, or are you not? If there's room for debate, clearly you're not.

  5. Joe DiMaggio was overrated?

    Check please

  6. When you make people introduce you as the greatest living ballplayer, but your B-R most similar player is Larry Walker, you're overrated.