"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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.   

1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for your post on weirdness. It is what I expected in two ways. First, making a fair assessment of personality you made the obvious judgement that Ron Paul is only weird in being too wholesome to believe. But what is really different about him, is that in midlife, through intellectual curiosity, he began his study of economics and political philosophy, that spurred him to start a political career to right what he perceived were the wrongs of government (i.e., Nixon’s breaking the dollar’s last connection to gold). The second aspect I expected was your uneasiness with his foreign policy positions. I would say that all of the other candidates follow the Washington establishment understanding (including Obama and the vast majority of Republicans and Democrats) of the US role in the world. My judgement is that you essentially also follow that same understanding. I believe, with Ron Paul, that this main stream understanding is more than flawed, but is morally corrupt and destined to lead our country to ruin. Without going into all the detail that would follow an afternoon drinking beer together, first recall this quote (probably due to Rove)

    "The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors.... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"

    The arrogance of power, the total contempt for truth, historical, legal, and moral is the stuff of Shakespeare if the actors were not so pathetic (e.g., Lindsey Graham). But of more direct consequence, is that the bureaucratic ineptness of every department of government, and I mean every down to the last small department in the TSA and the Pentagon, with their gross tactical and strategic errors, have already sown the seeds of economic ruin for the country. No other candidate expresses even the smallest understanding of these issues.

    Unfortunately with pessimism,

    ps Thanks for your post on Ron Santo. As you know I grew up following those Cubs and so some great games against the Cardinals, who always seemed much better to me.