"I think he would have clicked his heels."
-- Billy Williams on how Ron Santo would have reacted to the news on being elected to the Hall of Fame.
Well, after all these years it finally happened. Ron Santo will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
Santo received 15 of 16 votes from the newly appointed Golden Era Committee. He was the only player selected. Jim Kaat was next with 10 votes, 2 votes shy, while White Sox great Minnie Minoso received 9 votes.
It makes me both happy and angry that baseball finally decided to elect Santo posthumously. Angry, obviously, because he's not here to celebrate. He would have just been overwhelmed with gratitude and handled it with the same class he did when he was inexplicably snubbed year after year.
There will always be a part of me that is angry with both the BBWAA and the Veteran's Committee for not handling his candidacy objectively, for continuing to use outdated criteria, and for their flat-out pettiness.
And maybe there's enough people out there who are angry enough to do something about the dysfunctional, antiquated election process. Responsibility should be taken away from sportswriters because they've mishandled it. They've had years of opportunity to arm themselves with better information and have failed to do so.
Perhaps the solution is that the current voters should be replaced by an unbiased committee that would make decisions based almost entirely on objective criteria.
In lieu of being able to watch Ron Santo enjoy his enshrinement, then the next best thing that would give me satisfaction is to can the people and the system that didn't allow it to happen.
Despite my displeasure with everything that has led up to Santo's election, ultimately I'm happy they finally got it right. I'm happy because at least his family, colleagues, peers, and Cubs fans can enjoy it. Future generations of Cubs fan will see Santo as he deserved to be seen, enshrined among the game's best.
Congratulations Ronny...wherever you are.
Filed under: Cubs Nostalgia