No Hall for Santo

12:18 pm Update: From the Baseball Hall of Fame Web site:

Fans wishing to voice their opinion in support of
their favorite candidates may do so in two ways. By sending a single
letter to the address below or by clicking here and sending an e-mail.

Hall of Fame Veterans Committee
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326

The Hall of Fame does not forward petitions to the voting members, but
makes all correspondence known to any interested voting members as well
as to the Screening Committee members and Historical Overview Committee

12:10 pm Update: Santo and players with whom he shared the ballot--Joe Torre, Gil Hodges, Dick Allen, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Al Oliver, Vada Pinson, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills--will next be eligible for election in 2010.

Only Joe Gordon is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the two Veterans Committees which separately considered pre-1943 players and then the 1943 & after guys.



Here's the voting results for the post-1942 players:

Santo (39 votes, 60.9 percent), Jim Kaat (38, 59.4 percent), Tony Oliva (33, 51.6 percent), Gil Hodges (28, 43.8 percent), Joe Torre (19, 29.7 percent), Maury Wills (15, 23.4 percent), Luis Tiant (13, 20.3 percent), Vada Pinson (12, 18.8 percent), Al Oliver (nine, 14.1 percent), Dick Allen (seven, 10.9 percent).

im not much on santo for the HOF...not like i'd be disgusted if he did get in...but being that close to jim kaat in voting...ow.

Yeah, me too. I don't really think he deserves to get in, but i do feel bad for him as he desperately wants to get in. I just hope if they do put him in, which i don't think they ever will, they do it while he is alive.

Thanks for the list, dcf. Santo was 9 votes short.

This just sickens me. He will never get in now, this was his best chance. If guys who played with him won't put him in, for sure players that came later won't because the stats srink over time compared to current stats. I think it is pretty clear that at least 40% of the current members look at it as an exclusive club for which they do not want any new members. Mike Schmidt was quoted once as saying that anyone that didn't get in on the first ballot should never get in. I think Santo had a higher percent when the writers and broadcast guys were inlcuded in the voting.

4 straight now that the HOF members haven't added any to their ranks. I wonder if some just won't vote for any as they want their own induction to be more unique. Self serving protectionism?

Of course, what we're all thinking is, who knows if the poor guy will even be alive in two years when he is next up for a vote? The pathetic irony is that it may take him passing away to cause the voters to look at him anew.

Horrible. Just horrible.

Sadly, I agree at this point I think the only thing that could change the outcome, other than a change in the voting system, is Santo's death. At this point, I just don't see what happens in his lifetime that changes the perception.

I also wonder if Santo's broadcasting career helps or hurts his case at this point. I mean, being in the booth does keep his name out in the public eye, but I also think it may make it more difficult to take him seriously in the baseball/HoF community.

I am starting to wonder if it's not something more devious. A big FU to the sabermatic community that insists Santo should be a slam dunk.

It's certainly odd. The veteran's commitees have made more mistakes over the years than the writers - but all the groups seem to agree that Santo's a bit short.

Santo did less well in terms of percentages than he did the last time around, as did Kaat, Oliva, Hodges, Wills and Oliver. Torre, Pinson, Tiant, Oliver and Allen all did marginally better.

The 2007 results: Santo (57 votes, 69.5%), Jim Kaat (52, 63.4%), Gil Hodges (50, 61%), Tony Oliva (47, 57.3%), Maury Wills (33, 40.2%), Joe Torre (26, 31.7%), Don Newcombe (17, 20.7%), Vada Pinson (16, 19.5%), Roger Maris (15, 18.3%), Lefty O'Doul (15, 18.3%), Luis Tiant (15, 18.3%), Curt Flood (14, 17.1%), Al Oliver (14, 17.1%), Mickey Vernon (14, 17.1%), Minnie Minoso (12, 14.6%), Cecil Travis (12, 14.6%), Dick Allen (11, 13.4%), Marty Marion (11, 13.4%), Joe Gordon (10, 12.2%), Ken Boyer (9, 11%), Mickey Lolich (8, 9.8%), Wes Ferrell (7, 8.5%), Sparky Lyle (6, 7.3%), Carl Mays (6, 7.3%), Thurman Munson (6, 7.3%), Rocky Colavito (5, 6.1%) and Bobby Bonds (1, 1.2%).

The issue is not with how Joe Morgan votes. The issue is with how this is set up. All of the changes seem designed, perversely, to make it less (rather than more) likely that the VC will ever elect another player. Limiting the selections to ten this time and limiting the electors to living HOF members only benefitted the players on the lower end of the voting table.

Joe Gordon? Nice player, but he was not as good as Bobby Grich, who probably won't ever be on the ballot ever again. Gordon had a career OPS+ of 120, but only 1530 career hits. He did miss two years to the war, but he's still pretty short on counting stats. Grich's OPS+ was 125. I'm shocked that this is the best they can do.

Gordon was basically Sandberg back then. He is still the 6th best home-run hitting second basemen of all time, even though he played only 11 seasons. Without the war he would have had over 300 HRs. And he was also great defensively. I am not too concerned about him getting in, although he was borderline in my opinion.

Santo not getting in though is sad. Probably never going to happen.

I was thinking, if 'I've heard of a guy from back then, he's probably pretty good'.

That system might work if the guy didn't hang around the game as a manager or coach, Neal, but many of them do. I remember Joe Gordon managing the Indians.

" to make it less (rather than more) likely that the VC will ever elect another player"

But the belief was the change was to make it more likely , correct?

That was the theory. The 'problem' is that these guys don't spend a lot of time reading Bill James books or reading ESPN articles.

Have the Cubs retired Santo's number? Maybe that would help.

Cubs retired Santo's number day after division clinch in 2003.

You didn't know that Santo's number was retired?

"Babe Ruth, I know, you guys keeping talking about her, but who is she?"

Is that the sports babe?

It's a shame Santo didn't make it in, and it is even more of a shame that the system is now constructed in a way that makes it even more difficult for veterans to get elected. The idea behind the veterans committee is to take a look back through the prism of history to recognize players that we *now* appreciate more than their contemporary baseball writers did. Santo fits that bill, and that is what the sabermetric community has been showing.

Having all alive HOFs vote now makes it more of a popularity contest now than it should be. Had the Cubs made a playoff run this last year, it could have led to a mini tidal-wave for Santo that might have gotten him over the hump.

This should have been Santo's best chance to get in. Now, I'm not sure that he'll ever get in unless his death earns him a few extra votes.

I think the HOF understands that the Veterans Committee is a problem for them. They tried to change the way the voting was done, but the result was the same. It will be interesting to see if additional changes are made. Unfortunately, it may be too late for Ronny.

I continue to be amazed that there are people who presumably know baseball who feel Santo doesn't belong in the Hall. By almost any measure, he is one of the best third basemen in the history of the game.

The "veterans committee" is really a dismal example of the old saw, Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

Personally, I think the HoF has too many mariginal players in it. So maybe the best use of the veterans committee would be to have them vote on players already in the hall. Given their track record, that would reduce the size of the committee by 19 or 20 players.

for bankruptcy protection

Cubs not part of the filing, business as usual.

Maybe Sam Zell isn't such a business genius as people (not on here) make him out to be.

It's interesting that only players and managers make up the "veterans committee." Why not add the living Frick and Spink award winners to the committee? Including journalists like Peter Gammons, Murray Chass and Rick Hummel on the committee, as well as broadcasters such as Bob Uecker, Jerry Coleman and Dave Niehaus could make a difference for someone like Santo.

Maybe it's simply his personality at this point that is keepng him out...from the heel click after a win to having a short fuse...maybe his contemporary players just don't like the guy very much, and that's blocking him from the 5-10 additional votes he needs.

Well, it's not like the guys on the HoF veterans committee never met him. Santo played on 9 All-Star teams. Maybe his reputation as a HOTDOG when he was a player is the problem.

That's what I meant. His personality from his playing days.

Yeah, I think you're right. If he had been as subdued as Billy Williams, he'd already be in.

Timmer, this is the first time it was only players and managers. Last time all of the others (newspaper writers, radio. tv, etc.) WERE included in the voting.

Thanks for clarifying, TJ. I knew that the original veterans committee included writers, but thought that they were excluded when the committee changed in 2001.

Here's the wiki link in case anyone's interested:

Exactly why are currently alive HOF players--the group that now votes on post-1943 veterans--now regarded as "experts" on baseball history? Why is Wade Boggs qualified to decide whether Santo should be in the Hall?

The whole point of giving veterans a second chance at the HOF, after being rejected by the baseball writers association, is a recognition that the perception of a player's career by his contemporaries may be wrong. I would say that the vote of living HOF players that choose to participate would look pretty much the same as the BBWAA, because that vote will be most-influenced by testimonials of contemporaries of the player in question.

Therefore, it should surprise no one that no post-1943 veteran passed this gauntlet this time around. A players reputation and perception of his value among his contemporary baseball writers is likely to be the same as his contemporary players. So why bother?

Not that committees do any better job. Exhibit A: Buck O'Neil. I doubt there's a perfect system, but why give the impression that someone like Santo has another shot at the HOF when in fact it is not a realistic shot at all.

To make that argument, you have to first conclude that Santo's exclusion from the HoF is incorrect.

I mentioned this in the DCF article, but why doesn't someone just survey the voters, find out who isn't voting for him and ask why. As it is, there's only one know reason and that is Schmidt's.

I actually whole-heartedly think Santo should be in, so I am with you. BUT, I don't think the Veteran's committee was established to correct mistakes due to the fact that the perception of a player's career by his contemporaries may be wrong. I think it was established to correct perceptions of a player's contemporary media being wrong.

E.g. The media doesn't value a guy, but you had to hit off of him and know how tough he was. You played with the guy you know he was a gamer and his stats sufferred because he played through pain. You know when you played against him he changed your team's game plan. Etc.

So in the view of its intent, the veteran's committee has done it's job. Not enough players agree that any one player was screwed by the media and should belong in.

I think I agree with you though that there should be a system set up to reevaluate past players based on contemporary understandings of the game. If a panel of Gammons, Bill James, et al. decided Santo doesn't belong I would buy it.

Funny comment from a Yahoo story about Santo not making it:

"the problem isn't finding 75 percent who agree, the problem is Joe Morgan. I hope someone kicks that old douche down a flight of stairs."

Why does the Vets commitee only meet once every 2 years? The NFL version meets every year and actually puts multiple candidates in yearly.

Unless my memory is failing me, I believe Joe Morgan stated in "This Old Cub" that Santo should be in the Hall of Fame.

I found out who votes on the vets commitee:

I thought have this guys were dead and I wonder how much are actually mentally with it. Because I know one them isnt (Sen. Jim Bunning and I am a Republican and dont think they guy should have his seat)

Santo reacts:

"It wasn’t going to change my life," he said. "I’m OK. But I know I’ve earned it."

Reading a lot about how "he just doesn't have the stats that are HOF caliber." What with the eras (deadball, steroid, etc) blurring the 'what should be the statistical ave for HOF,' I believe you should be compared to players in your era; whereas Santo is a lock...

I saw Santo play in his prime and he was damn good. But I also remember him being a brutal rally killer. With a guy on first and Santo up late in a game you'd pray he would hit a fly ball so he wouldn't ground into still another of his double plays.

Sosa at some point became number one on the Cubs all-time list for walk off homers passing the old number one - Ron Santo. Now I've watched the Cubs since sometime in 1963. I remember Len Gabrielson hitting a walk-off homer. I remember Jose Arcia, Larry Biittner and Shane Andrews hitting walk-off homers. but for the life of me, I don't remember Santo ever hitting one. So maybe he wasn't as rotten in late inning situations as I remember.

I do think that Santo's clicking of his heels after wins in '69 hurts him - a lot. This was at a time when batters didn't even stand and watch homers. The biggest hot dog in the NL was Pete Rose but he didn't do anything to show up the other team - just did a bunch of unnecessary diving head-first slides into second and third and caught pop-ups by snapping his mitt down hard on the ball. Santo's antics were an embarrassment and I'm sure players from his era and before were disgusted with his act in '69.

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