I’m a White Sox fan. I don’t like seeing more Cubs inducted into the Hall of Fame.
That said, the bittersweet election today of Ron Santo, is the final jewel in his storied career as player and broadcaster, as well as an indictment on the process of electing players to the Hall of Fame.
Rest assured, I am a member of the vast majority that is happy that Ron Santo is finally getting in to the Hall. I can say that as a baseball fan.
It is criminal (figuratively) that it took until almost the anniversary of his death for 15 members of the Veterans Committee to do what the Baseball Writers Association of America should have done years ago. It is almost a taunt to him beyond the grave to elect this inoffensive man who was one of the games great players and even greater ambassadors.
So the time has come to reform the election process.
1. The BBWAA can still vote, but their vote is now only one-third of the total.
2. The veterans committee should be a permanent committee, expanded out to 24 living enshrinees who cast ballots making up one-third of the players total vote.
3. The Hall should appoint a similar committee of baseball historians … people well versed in modern and past statistics and the impact of players, umpires, and executives on the game. These people must demonstrate their scholarship based on past writings and research that they have clear cut knowledge of the game and its various measures of excellence. Their ballot should carry one-third of the weight.
I think spreading the weighting of votes among three different groups of people increases the likelihood of deserving players, umpires, and executives getting in, by diluting the affect that anyone or a few individuals might have. There clearly aren’t too many undeserving players getting in these days … the problem seems to be the opposite. It is time for someone to take the reigns and steer this situation towards doing what is right instead of becoming a place where writers with limited knowledge of certain players or agendas get total control of this great honor.
Maybe we can get Jim Kaat and Minnie Miñoso in next time!
For those not familiar with the very passionate announcer that he became, a couple of links:
(Santo is on the background screaming)