Monday, December 5, 2011
Ron Santo, Hall-of-Famer
As a Cardinals fan, I grew up hating the Chicago Cubs. In the 1960s, the Cubs were always one of the hardest teams for the Cardinals to play, with Ferguson Jenkins, Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Don Kessinger, Glenn Beckert and, of course, their great third baseman, Ron Santo. Santo was the premier power-hitting third-baseman in the National League in the pitching-dominant 1960s, so his career numbers don't seem that fantastic, but they were: 342 HRs, 1331 RBIs, .277 BA, .826 OPS. Those are significantly better than the numbers for Brooks Robinson, the greatest third baseman of that era (although Robinson was a much better fielder). Santo's lifetime WAR (which are adjusted for era), were 66.4, more than the following men who got in the Hall before him: Willie McCovey, Ernie Banks, Al Simmons, Ozzie Smith, Robbie Alomar, Ryne Sandberg, Jackie Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, Dave Winfield, Yogi Berra, Gary Carter, Willie Stargell, Billy Williams, Andrew Dawson, Hank Greenberg, Joe Medwick, Bill Terry, Bill Dickey, Enos Slaughter, Michey Cochrane, George Sisler, Tony Perez. Wow. He should have been in the Hall of Fame a long time ago (and certainly before he died last year from complications from diabetes, which he had throughout his life and played through as a major leaguer). But it's great that he's finally in there.