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Ron Santo -- Newest Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame

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Per a variety of sources, the "Golden Age" Committee has elected longtime Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

This is a long overdue award for Santo, who passed away one year and two days ago, on December 3, 2010.

One of the things we've talked about before is how few third basemen there are in the Hall of Fame, and how many third basemen with solid Hall of Fame cases have ended up on the outside looking in. There's probably no one who was a better example of that phenomenon than Santo, whose raw counting stats were hurt both by his retirement at age 34 (although he debuted at age 20) and by the fact that he spent his career playing in the low-offense 60s and early 70s.

Santo's fWAR of 79.3 is 7th* all time among third basemen, behind Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, Wade Boggs, Brooks Robinson, George Brett, and Chipper Jones, and his bWAR of 66.4 is also 7th, behind that same group.

* If you include Alex Rodriguez as a third baseman, he goes to the top of the list, and Santo is 8th.

Only eight players eligible for the Hall but not in have a higher bWAR than Santo -- Jeff Bagwell, Bill Dahlen, Lou Whitaker, Barry Larkin, Bobby Grich, Larry Walker, Edgar Martinez, and Alan Trammell.

The one sad note on this is that it is unfortunate that Santo wasn't inducted while he was still alive to appreciate the honor.

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1960 20 CHC NL 95 382 347 44 87 24 2 9 44 0 3 31 44 .251 .311 .409 .720 96
1961 21 CHC NL 154 655 578 84 164 32 6 23 83 2 3 73 77 .284 .362 .479 .842 121
1962 22 CHC NL 162 679 604 44 137 20 4 17 83 4 1 65 94 .227 .302 .358 .659 74
1963 23 CHC NL 162 687 630 79 187 29 6 25 99 6 4 42 92 .297 .339 .481 .820 128
1964 24 CHC NL 161 686 592 94 185 33 13 30 114 3 4 86 96 .313 .398 .564 .962 164
1965 25 CHC NL 164 704 608 88 173 30 4 33 101 3 1 88 109 .285 .378 .510 .888 146
1966 26 CHC NL 155 672 561 93 175 21 8 30 94 4 5 95 78 .312 .412 .538 .950 161
1967 27 CHC NL 161 697 586 107 176 23 4 31 98 1 5 96 103 .300 .395 .512 .906 153
1968 28 CHC NL 162 682 577 86 142 17 3 26 98 3 4 96 106 .246 .354 .421 .775 126
1969 29 CHC NL 160 687 575 97 166 18 4 29 123 1 3 96 97 .289 .384 .485 .869 131
1970 30 CHC NL 154 655 555 83 148 30 4 26 114 2 0 92 108 .267 .369 .476 .844 115
1971 31 CHC NL 154 642 555 77 148 22 1 21 88 4 0 79 95 .267 .354 .423 .778 109
1972 32 CHC NL 133 547 464 68 140 25 5 17 74 1 4 69 75 .302 .391 .487 .878 139
1973 33 CHC NL 149 604 536 65 143 29 2 20 77 1 2 63 97 .267 .348 .440 .788 112
1974 34 CHW AL 117 417 375 29 83 12 1 5 41 0 2 37 72 .221 .293 .299 .591 69
15 Seasons 2243 9396 8143 1138 2254 365 67 342 1331 35 41 1108 1343 .277 .362 .464 .826 125
162 Game Avg. 162 679 588 82 163 26 5 25 96 3 3 80 97 .277 .362 .464 .826 125
CHC (14 yrs) 2126 8979 7768 1109 2171 353 66 337 1290 35 39 1071 1271 .279 .366 .472 .838 127
CHW (1 yr) 117 417 375 29 83 12 1 5 41 0 2 37 72 .221 .293 .299 .591 69
NL (14 yrs) 2126 8979 7768 1109 2171 353 66 337 1290 35 39 1071 1271 .279 .366 .472 .838 127
AL (1 yr) 117 417 375 29 83 12 1 5 41 0 2 37 72 .221 .293 .299 .591 69
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/5/2011.