Archive: Another snub for Santo
Originally published June 29, 2010
LAS VEGAS -- Cubs general manager Jim Hendry vented his frustration Monday at baseball's Veterans Committee for yet another snub of Ron Santo for the Hall of Fame.
"It's a sad, sad day," Hendry said. "I'm very, very disappointed that Ron was not inducted. "He certainly deserves it.
"He's as good an ambassador to this game as there is living on the earth right now. For years, we would look at ourselves and say, 'Are we being sentimental here?' We love Ron. We love the Cubs. He loves the Cubs. To me, there's no rhyme or reason why he's not (in the Hall).
"I think it's really sad."
The Veterans Committee, made up of 64 Hall of Fame players, again denied entrance to any player from post-1942, which is its jurisdiction. Another Veterans panel did elect infielder Joe Gordon from the pre-1942 era.
Santo, however, was not alone in being shut out by the Veterans Committee, which was revamped again after failing to elect anyone in 2007.
Santo was the leading vote-getter among the post-1942 players on the ballot; he got 39 votes, or 60.9 percent. To gain election, a player on the ballot needed 75 percent, or 48 votes.
Two years ago, Santo led all vote-getters with 69.5 percent, falling 5 votes short.
From his home in Arizona, Santo said he was more upset
that the Veterans Committee can't see fit to elect anyone.
"Everything is fine with me," he said late Monday afternoon. "I'm kind of disappointed. I really felt this was the year. I got myself all pumped up, and other people got pumped out, too.
"Again, nobody gets in. It's a travesty. I think they should have a committee of two writers, two broadcasters and four ballplayers. It looks now like it's an elite group, and they don't want anybody in.
"I thought when they went with all ballplayers (on the committee), it would help. It's not going to help."
Hall of Famer Joe Morgan was forced to defend the Veterans Committee for the second time in less than two years. Morgan was asked whether the living Hall of Famers simply do not want anybody else joining their exclusive club.
"I don't think that's the case," Morgan said. "And, in fact, maybe a point, the reason Santo went down is that there are new people on the ballot each year, new people added. So sometimes they may take away from votes you cast someplace else.
"And again, and I know I'm speaking personally, I feel that there are some guys out there who belong. The problem is, we can't find 75 percent that agree that one guy is the guy, or two guys, or three guys, whatever."
Santo, who turns 69 in February, will have to wait until the winter meetings of 2010 to hear again of his Hall of Fame fate. He played his career while having diabetes, and he has suffered many health-related problems in recent years.
As far as his numbers go, Santo hit 342 home runs, won five Gold Gloves at third base and made nine all-star teams. He also has been active in raising funds and awareness for others who have diabetes.
"To overcome adversity and play the game the way he did and continue to be involved the way he did, this guy could have shut it down on the industry a long time ago," Hendry said.
"It's really, really sad to me that he's not in. I don't know what else a man can do in his life to give his whole life to the game and not get the final result that he deserves."