It’s nice to see people get things right. Even if it’s too late, or after the opportunity has passed, a certain measure of pride can be taken from correcting a previous mistake. Never has this been more evident than today with Major League Baseball’s Veteran’s Committee electing longtime Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo, who passed away one year and two days ago, to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Santo is, almost unbelievably, only the 12th third baseman ever elected to the Hall of Fame. Both his fWAR and rWAR rank him seventh all time among third basemen, behind Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, Wade Boggs, Brooks Robinson, George Brett, and regrettably Chipper Jones.
According to Baseball Reference, there are only eight players eligible for the Hall of Fame, but not in it, that have more wins above replacement than Santo — Jeff Bagwell, Bill Dahlen, Lou Whitaker, Barry Larkin, Bobby Grich, Larr Walker, Edgar Martinez, and Alan Trammell.
The sentiment among almost everyone in baseball is that this was a long overdue honour, that unfortunately came posthumously. In order to secure election through the Veterans Committee, 12 of 16 votes are needed. Santo received 15, meaning that there’s a person out there who is stupider than this guy: