Of Ron Santo, Rafael Palmeiro and the Hall of Fame

There has been an outpouring of support lately for former Union boss Marvin Miller to go into the Hall of Fame.

Bert Blyleven supporters are also out in force at this time of the year and so too those who believe Barry Larkin should be in Cooperstown. Don’t forget Jack Morris, Tim Raines, Roberto Alomar, Larry Walker, Lee Smith, John Franco…

Marty Noble writes on MLB.Com that Fred McGriff should be in the Hall of Fame. There is the DH debate over Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines. Plus Jeff Bagwell is up for the first time.

Speaking of ex-Rangers…Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez and Kevin Brown are all on the ballot for the first time this year.

RonSanto.jpgRon Santo is not on the ballot. His time passed a long time ago in 1998 as far as the writers ballot. He mustered 43 percent of the vote in his last pass. He was also inexplicably passed over by various Veteran Committees in their different, ever-changing forms.

As has been written several times, Santo remains the biggest oversight in the history of the Baseball Hall of Fame, rivaled only by Green Bay Packers guard Jerry Kramer’s absence from the AFL-laden NFL Hall of Fame that is stacked to the rafters with former Buffalo Bills.

Santo should have been inducted long ago and he passed away on Thursday evening at his home in Arizona.

Want numbers? You can find them at baseball-reference.com. Want debate? Check out www.baseballthinkfactory.org. They do Hall of Fame analysis and debate better than anybody.

To me, Ron Santo was simply the best third baseman in the National League for an extended period of time to the point where there is no doubt that he belonged in Cooperstown.

“I thought when you compared his numbers to other people who played that position, he was deserving of the Hall of Fame,” Nolan Ryan said Thursday morning.

Santo played during the 1960’s and offensive numbers were down in that decade because of the dominance of pitching. He still didn’t lead the league in enough offensive categories or rank in the top ten enough to sway voters but his numbers are more than sufficiently impressive for somebody who was also a premium defensive player.

Not sure of is the sabremetrics guys will agree but that will forever be my opinion.

Haven’t received my Hall of Fame ballot yet so not sure whose name will be checked off this year. Did receive a big brochure from an unnamed source touting Juan Gonzalez’s Hall of Fame credential.

Nothing yet from Brown or Palmeiro’s supporters.

To be perfectly honest, based on a prior long-standing relationship with all three players, would really love to check off Palmeiro, Gonzalez and Brown. Everybody here had a great relationship with Palmeiro. That wasn’t always the case for Gonzalez and Brown. The exact opposite with Brown especially.

Not me. I had a great relationship with all three. Shouldn’t count when it comes to the Hall of Fame. Definitely should not.

But in these three cases, it’s not going to matter whether I vote for them or not. We all know it’s not going to happen and we all know why.

As Saruman said to Frodo at the end of the Lord of the Rings, “It’s not my doing. I merely foretell.”

In Palmeiro’s case, it could well end up being a serious miscarriage of justice. Like Pete Rose, the numbers are more than sufficient. But that won’t be the deciding factor.

But Ron Santo never got justice either.



Santo deserves to be in. He didn’t have a terribly long career, but the offense he put up, realtive to his era, combined with his excellent defense make him a glaring ommission.

I think we all can agree that the exclusion of Ron Santos, Pete Rose, and Joe Jackson in the HoF is indeed a serious miscarriage of justice. However, Palmerio’s case is not as cut and dried. In the day and age that we live in, you simply can’t just account the on the field statistics into who deserves the hall and who doesn’t. Palmerio’s actions to the senate gave me reasonable doubt as to the validity of his, albeit impressive, numbers. Will Palmerio get the Hall of fame nod ? Unfortunately, I do not see it in his (immediate) future. Growing up as a fan of the Rangers, it is sad to say that a number of the players I grew up watching will be nothing more than an interesting sidebar in Saint Teddy’s “Great Book of Baseball”

I knew you were going to write this column and I’m glad to see it. I didn’t know it was ging to come after Ron Santos death.

Santos was a great guy. To have achieved what he did, at the time he did it (when knowledge of Juvenile Diabetes was so incomplete) is a tribute to his fighting spirit. A great player, a great team player and a almost great announcer. Nothing thrilled me more than to get up to the Windy City and listen to a game on…What a great fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. What a guy.

I listened to one of the XM commentators the other day and they said the test of whether a guy belonged in the Hall was “Was he simply the best at his position during his era?” They touted Alomar, & Larkin among others as fitting that bill. I don’t see it. As a matter of fact if I had a balot…and I don’t…I wouldn’t vote for anyone out of this crop.

The gist of your article is absolute truth. Palmiero may satify the above test but Palmiero doesn’t have a chance. Finger waving at Congress and the statement of “never” fixed that up.

Thoughtful TR…and great journalism…and we do read it.

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