Hall of Fame arguments are inherently stupid. Not only do they usually devolve into some combination of homer fandom and impolite screeching, their final results are monopolized by people who oftentimes seem to have no idea what they're doing. Case in point: Monday's announcement.
For the gazillionth time in just as many tries, Ron Santo was denied entry to the baseball Hall of Fame by a group of veteran baseball players. Despite their incredible skill at the game, and the respect these players command, these vets apparently know nothing about Ron Santo. Or, they know everything about him and still inexplicably don't think he belongs in the Hall. Or they hate him personally. It's got to be one of the three.
The argument is so old and oft-repeated, it really doesn't need further reinforcement. But here goes. From 1960-to-1974, Ron Santo was a Hall of Fame caliber-player on a team that rarely allowed him to showcase his skills. In his prime, he was as effective a third-basemen as any GM can dream of. He was among the best third basement of all time.
He was really, really good at baseball, and the numbers bear it out, both in context and compared to the modern game.
Of course, that doesn't even begin to touch on Santo's playing and post-playing life, in which he has transformed himself into a symbol of the old-world game both in Chicago and across the country. A horrible but lovable broadcaster, Santo has rarely seemed to hold a grudge about his lack of Hall status, each year publicly wishing and hoping he'd get in but never seeming to hold it against the committee when, each year, he doesn't. He just keeps hoping it will happen. It never does.
This year, Santo should end the nonsense. When he is nominated again, he should take his name off the ballot and ask to be removed from the joke of a process that is the Veterans Committee vote. (The Veterans Committee never votes anyone in; it's a wonder they convene the process anyway. There's much money to be saved on postage and first-class flights.)
Santo should know that the Hall of Fame is incomplete without him, and that he shouldn't need the Hall to validate his accomplishments on the baseball field. If they haven't gotten it right since 1980, the voters aren't going to get it right any time in the 21st century.