Cubs make Hall of Fame case for Santo


Cubs make Hall of Fame case for Santo

Ron Santos legacy is three-dimensional, but Cubs people still feel its incomplete.

They missed seeing him on a golf cart, holding court in spring training. They wondered what he would have sounded like on the air last season watching this team. They still enjoy telling Santo stories, some of which can actually appear in print.

The Hall of Fame remains the missing piece.

One year after his death, Santo is one of 10 Golden Era candidates being discussed this weekend in Dallas. To be enshrined in Cooperstown, Santo needs 12 votes from the 16-man committee. The final decisions will be revealed Monday morning at the winter meetings.

Quietly, the Cubs have been lobbying for Santo, reaching out to the Hall of Famers, executives and journalists who make up the panel. There is some optimism because Billy Williams will be one of the voters in the room.

Williams and Santo were great friends and teammates, going all the way back to Double-A ball in San Antonio, where Cubs instructor Rogers Hornsby gave them the stamp of approval. Their statues now face each other outside Wrigley Field.

Ron belongs in the Hall of Fame, chairman Tom Ricketts said. Were doing what we can to get that message out to people that have the power to make that decision and were hopeful that theyll see it that way.

The Golden Era candidates were defined by making a major impact between 1947 and 1972. The other candidates for the class of 2012 are Minnie Minoso, Luis Tiant, Tony Oliva, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Allie Reynolds and Ken Boyer, along with executives Buzzie Bavasi and Charlie Finley.

The Cubs position Santo as one of the best of his era. During his 15-year playing career (1960-1974), only three other players also reached 2,000 hits, 300 homers and 1,300 RBIs: Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson and Williams. In that time, his 1,331 RBI rank fifth. The entire top 10 except for Santo is in the Hall of Fame.

The Cubs point out that Santo is one of two third basemen to have more than 300 homers and five Gold Gloves. Mike Schmidt is the other, and he got into Cooperstown his first year on the ballot, with almost 97 percent of the vote.

The Cubs also say that Santos contributions go beyond the field. He connected with fans as the voice of summer for 21 seasons on WGN Radio. He also helped raise more than 60 million for juvenile diabetes research.

Santo never got to experience the playoffs or author a signature World Series moment that would have helped his cause. He also never received more than 44 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers Association of America during his 15 years on the Hall of Fame ballot.

Santos Hall of Fame teammates Williams, Ernie Banks and Fergie Jenkins believe he belongs there. He didnt want people to know he played through diabetes, a condition that led to his legs being amputated later in life.

He was the backbone of the Chicago Cubs, Jenkins said last summer. Day in and day out, No. 10 was going to be on that field.

Even though they came from different generations, todays players respected Santo. They saw him on the planes and buses and in the clubhouse. They appreciated how he gritted through the travel and never complained or made excuses.

Santo and the people around him have been through this before. Theyve gotten their hopes up only to be disappointed. The Cubs are hoping this is it, even if it would be a year too late.

Cubs set historic lineup for Game 3 of World Series

Cubs set historic lineup for Game 3 of World Series

Pay attention to this; it will be the answer to a trivia question someday.

The Cubs released their lineup for Game 3 of the World Series Friday night, aka the first World Series game at Wrigley Field in 71 years.

So commit this to memory:

1. Dexter Fowler - CF
2. Kris Bryant - 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
4. Ben Zobrist - LF
5. Willson Contreras - C
6. Jorge Soler - RF
7. Javy Baez - 2B
8. Addison Russell - SS
9. Kyle Hendricks - P

With Kyle Schwarber unable to play the outfield, the Cubs lose his bat in the starting lineup, but he will be available off the bench as a pinch-hitter.

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The wind is expected to be gusting out all night at Wrigley, so the Cubs are opting for some power potential early with Soler in right field.

This also represents the fourth straight game in which Jason Heyward is not in the starting lineup.

Indians Game 3 starter Josh Tomlin gave up 36 homers in the regular season, an average of 1.9 homers per nine innings.

Hendricks will go up against an Indians lineup that managed just one run off Jake Arrieta and the Cubs bullpen on a frigid, wet night in Cleveland in Game 2.

Hendricks is also coming off a stellar start at Wrigley last weekend when he absolutely dominated the Dodgers to clinch the National League pennant for the Cubs. In the postseason, Hendricks has a 1.65 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and .164 batting average against.

Playing at an NL park, the Indians are rolling with normal DH Carlos Santana in the outfield:

1. Carlos Santana - LF
2. Jason Kipnis - 2B
3. Francisco Lindor - SS
4. Mike Napoli - 1B
5. Jose Ramirez - 3B
6. Lonnie Chisenhall - RF
7. Roberto Perez - C
8. Tyler Naquin - CF
9. Josh Tomlin

What life was like the last time the Cubs hosted a World Series game at Wrigley Field

What life was like the last time the Cubs hosted a World Series game at Wrigley Field

25,950 days ago.

That's how long it's been since Wrigley Field last saw a World Series game played in front of the ivy.

Sure, 71 years is a long time, but when you break it down by days, it seems even more daunting.

For starters, take a glance at a snapshot of what Wrigley - and the world - looked like on the day of the last World Series game on Chicago's North side:

#FlashbackFriday: 71 years ago, the last time Wrigley Field hosted a #WorldSeries game.

A photo posted by MLB ⚾ (@mlb) on

Obviously, that was well before Wrigley got lights (1988).

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Here's some more perspective on how stunningly different life was back in 1945:

—The average cost of a new house was $4,600.

—The average salary was $2,400 per year per person.

—Gas cost 15 cents a gallon.

—New cars were just over $1,000.

—Life expectancy was 65.9 years (life expectancy in America is 79.3 years in 2016).

—Population of the U.S. was just shy of 140 million (In 2016, America's population is more than 324 million).

—Major League Baseball had only 16 teams, including zero teams west of St. Louis.

—The Giants had yet to move to San Francisco and were still in New York. The Dodgers had yet to move to Los Angeles and still made their home in Brooklyn.

—Washington had a baseball team, but they were called the Senators, not the Nationals.

—St. Louis, Boston and Philadelphia each had two baseball teams, including the St. Louis Browns, Boston Braves and Philadelphia Athletics.

—Tigers pitcher Hal Newhouser won American League MVP honors while Cubs first baseman Phil Cavarretta took home the NL MVP with only six homers, though he did hit .355 with a .949 OPS.

—The first Super Bowl was still 22 years away from being played.

Among world events, 1945 was also when Adolf Hitler died, Germany surrendered in World War II and the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Japan.

America was also getting used to Harry S. Truman as president after Franklin D. Roosevelt died in office in April 1945.

Of course, if we go as far back as the last time the Cubs won the World Series, life would be quite a bit different even in the 37 years between 1908 and 1945.