Posted 27 February 2007 - 04:59 PM
Schmidt, Boggs, Brett, Brooks Robinson, and Eddie Mathews. Those are the most recent HOF inductees from 3rd base (I think). Now I don't think anybody is questioning whether any of these players belong in the HOF. I think they were all First Ballot HOFers, with the exception of Eddie Mathews (and he has 500 home runs). But based on these guys, I still don't see why Ron Santo hasn't gotten in. That guy had it all, with the exception of longevity and the misfortune of playing on the Cubs.
He had five gold gloves, he hit for power, he walked plenty, he drove in runs, he was a 9-time all-star, he was the heart and soul of his team (albeit a mostly bad one), and he was extremely durable (until his career ended suddenly). He was the first 3B to have 300 HR's and win 5 gold gloves.
If you look at his numbers, career totals that is, he's quite a bit superior to Brooks Robinson. He's got more HR's, higher slugging pct, much higher OBP, higher OPS+, and similar RBI's. Robinson has him in gold gloves by a long shot, and other intangibles like his WS performances. But still, I don't see why Santo never got voted in, and has been bypassed by the Vets committee year after year, while Robinson got in on the 1st ballot with 90% of the votes.
You can even compare Santo to George Brett. Brett, of course, has 3000 hits and some intangible things like his .390 season and his WS and playoff exploits. But, if you look at the numbers, while he has a .305 career BA, his OBP is .369 (Santo's is .362). His OPS+ is 135, while Santo's is 125. Santo tops Brett in HR's though (342 to 317) and gold gloves (5 to 1). I mean, it's a stretch to say Santo and Brett are similar, but they are not so far apart as to have Brett get in on the 1st ballot with 98.2% of the votes, while Santo sits and waits.
While Jim Rice has one of those lack of longevity things going also, I believe Rice is borderline. But I'm not so sure Santo is borderline at all.