A 16-member veterans committee made up of baseball writers (3), executives (5) and Hall of Famers (8) meets Sunday to vote from a list of 10 finalists, from baseball’s so-called Golden Era (1947-72), to determine who becomes a member of the 2012 Hall of Fame class.
Since the veterans-committee process was altered in 2001 to include large numbers of Hall of Famers as voters, no players have been added to the Hall via this process — leading to multiple changes over the past decade.
But many believe this will be Ron Santo’s best chance for enshrinement in that span, and the Cubs have put together a compelling one-page case for the legendary third baseman to lobby committee members.
Twelve votes are needed to get in; committee members are allowed to vote for as many from the finalist list as they want.
Santo figures to have two votes in the bank from the start, with former teammate Billy Williams and longtime Chicago baseball writer Dave Van Dyck on the committee.
The nine others on the ballot: Tony Oliva, Gil Hodges, Ken Boyer, Minnie Minoso, Jim Kaat, Luis Tiant, Allie Reynolds, Buzzie Bavasi and Charles Finley.
Here’s the full text of the Cubs’ Case for Santo:
–In the 15 years of Ron’s playing career (1960-1974), only four players had 2,000 hits, 300 home runs and 1,300 RBI: Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Billy Williams and Ron Santo.
–Between 1960-1974, Santo’s 1,331 RBI rank 5th. The entire top 10 is in the Hall of Fame except for Santo.
–Between 1960-1974, only four players had 2,000 hits and 1,000 walks: Hank Aaron, Carl Yastrzemski, Frank Robinson and Ron Santo.
–A nine-time All-Star, Ron is one of only two third basemen to have more than 300 home runs and five Gold Gloves. The other, Mike Schmidt, was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility with 96.5% of the vote.
–Among current Hall-of-Fame third basemen, Ron would rank third in home runs, fourth in walks, fifth in RBI and sixth in hits.
–Ron was an empathetic voice of the fans on WGN Radio for 21 seasons, representing the game of baseball with passion, dignity and class through the final year of his life.
–Ron was a tireless fighter, survivor and champion for those who lived with diabetes. Though he had diabetes, Ron never once went on the disabled list. He helped raise more than $60 million for juvenile diabetes research, through which his legacy lives on.