On Monday, Cubs legend Ron Santo was finally elected into baseball's Hall of Fame. I wrote almost exactly a year ago that I believed Santo deserved to be in the Hall, and now he is.
But his election today makes me mad.
How is it that a guy with such stellar numbers while he played can't get a sniff of Cooperstown while he's alive, but a year after he passes away there's an overwhelming majority putting him into the Hall? Santo reportedly received 93.8 percent of the vote from the Golden Era committee, almost 20 percent more than he needed and darn close to a unanimous selection.
So... he wasn't good enough for the honor while he was alive, but now that he's gone we'll honor him?
That's bush league. I'm sorry, but it is.
Santo loved the Cubs, and their fans - indeed, his fans - as much as anyone that's ever been associated with baseball. Even while his health was failing, he always made time to talk to fans and sign autographs. He might have been the biggest homer to ever work in a broadcast booth, but what made Santo special was that he never changed. He was as passionate with a microphone in the fourth inning of a random summer afternoon game as he was at the Cubs Convention.
He also genuinely wanted to be in the Hall of Fame. Like any athlete, Santo ultimately wanted to be respected by his peers for what he did on the field. While the Hall of Fame voters got it wrong for over 30 years, it appears the Golden Era committee will put Santo where he belongs.
It really is too bad that he won't be able to see the ceremony in person. His speech would undoubtedly be one of the greatest of all-time, filled with colorful stories, tears and laughs. But we'll all have to remember him for what he was that day: a fabulous baseball player, and better person.
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