COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Ron Santo is a Hall of Famer. His plaque is now on display in Cooperstown to prove it. “This is not a sad day,” wife Vicki Santo said as she gave the acceptance speech. “This is a great day.”
In 15 seasons, including one with the White Sox, Santo hit 342 home runs, had a batting average of .277 and won five Gold Gloves. Yet Santo appeared on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot for 15 years and the closest he came to making the Hall cut was 43.1 percent, in 1998 -- far short of the necessary 75 percent.
Finally, thanks to a revamped Golden Era committee -- and a strong push from Williams, who stressed Santo’s work for juvenile diabetes research -- Santo got in last December, a year and two days after he died at 70. The Claek Sports Center was evenly divided between Cubs fans and Reds fans to honor the other 2012 inductee, shortstop Barry Larkin.
“God, how he loved the Cubs and Cubs fans “ Vicki Santo said. “He would be so grateful you came here today to share this with him.”