Sadly, it might’ve taken his death to get it done, but Ron Santo finally has made the Hall of Fame.
The news came moments ago here in Dallas, with the Veterans Committee making the announcement — one year and two days after Santo died at the age of 70 from bladder cancer.
It’s the first time he’s been up for a vote since his passing. He’s previously fallen short in several Veterans Committee votes, and 15 times on the baseball writers’ ballot.
The Veterans Committee consists of 16 voting members, including Mr. Tiger Al Kaline. Twelve votes are needed for election. Santo, a Cubs legend from his career as a third baseman and then his work on the radio, received 15; the lone “nay” is private.
Interestingly, Jim Kaat, a Western Michigan native and Hope College alum, came really close. A winner of 283 games in his 25 major league seasons (mostly for the Twins), the lefty received 10 votes. Two more and he’d also be enshrined in Cooperstown in July.
Kaat’s candidacy will again be considered in three years, when the Veterans Committee takes another look at the merits of players and executives from the “Golden Era” (1947-72).
Be sure to check back with Covering the Bases, as Tony Paul blogs throughout the day Monday-Wednesday from the winter meetings.