vicki santo

The Hall of Fame Induction Speech Vicki Santo Should Give

Good afternoon. Thank you so much to all those who made today possible, especially the great Cubs’ fans who have always loved my husband whether on the field or in the broadcast booth.

When Ron retired from baseball in 1974 he finished his career with 342 home runs, 2254 hits, 1331 RBIs, five Gold Gloves, and nine All-Star appearances.

Six years later, when Ron was first eligible for election to the Hall of Fame he had 342 home runs, 2254 hits, 1331 RBIs, five Gold Gloves, and nine All-Star appearances. He earned 3.9% of the vote and was removed from the ballot.

In 1985 when Ron and several other players were returned to the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot, he had 342 home runs, 2254 hits, 1331 RBIs, five Gold Gloves, and nine All-Star appearances. He received 13.4% of the vote.

When he last appeared on the writers’ ballots in 1998, he had 342 home runs, 2254 hits, 1331 RBIs, five Gold Gloves, and nine All-Star appearances. He received 43.1% of the vote.

When his left leg was amputated in 2001, due to complications from the juvenile diabetes he dealt with during his entire playing career, he had 342 home runs, 2254 hits, 1331 RBIs, five Gold Gloves, and nine All-Star appearances.

The next year saw him lose his right leg and he had 342 home runs, 2254 hits, 1331 RBIs, five Gold Gloves, and nine All-Star appearances.

When the Veterans’ Committee voted on Ron in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009 he had 342 home runs, 2254 hits, 1331 RBIs, five Gold Gloves, and nine All-Star appearances. He finished as high as first in the balloting but never with enough votes to be admitted to the Hall.

When Ron passed away on December 3, 2010 he had 342 home runs, 2254 hits, 1331 RBIs, five Gold Gloves, and nine All-Star appearances.

One year and two days later, on December 5, 2011, Ron Santo was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He had 342 home runs, 2254 hits, 1331 RBIs, five Gold Gloves, and nine All-Star appearances. Fifteen of sixteen members of the committee voted for Ron, giving him 93% of the vote.

Today, as I stand before Ron’s fans, teammates, friends, and, now, fellow Hall of Famers, on July 22, 2012, he still has 342 home runs, 2254 hits, 1331 RBIs, five Gold Gloves, and nine All-Star appearances.

Not one more home run, hit, RBI, Gold Glove, or All-Star game in 38 years. I could not be any prouder of my husband. He never once complained. Not about perennial losing seasons with the Cubs, not about his problems with diabetes, and certainly not about the Hall of Fame. And if he were here today he would not complain about how long it took, how his statistics didn’t change, or how he hasn’t improved as a third basemen over the last four decades. He is smiling today and I’m sure he’s doing a little heel click in Heaven.

But I’m not Ron and I just want to remind everyone that my husband had 342 home runs, 2254 hits, 1331 RBIs, five Gold Gloves, and nine All-Star appearances during his career. He was a Hall of Famer the day he retired. He didn’t become one over the last 38 years.

Thank you.

Sources: baseball-reference.com and wikipedia.org

(Image of Ron Santo clicking his heels after another Wrigley win during the 1969 season is courtesy of 90feetofperfection.com)