Ron Santo made no secret of the fact that he wanted to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Former teammates Ernie Banks, Billie Williams and Fergie Jenkins were all there and on those Cubs teams of the 1960s and early 70s, Santo felt he, too, contributed enough to be elected. Finally, after more than three decades of waiting, he was…a year after he died and could no longer enjoy the moment. It was a happy/sad day for his family, former teammates and Cubs fans. However, Santo’s election to Cooperstown will only boost his profile among collectors, especially those in Chicago who have always held him in high regard.
Santo’s HOF election is already producing a mini run on eBay. From 11 a.m. Monday morning, after the news of his election had broken, until 9:30 p.m., 85 out of 100 Santo items closing in that time frame sold.
Among the few graded cards selling on Monday was a 1961 Santo rookie card, graded BVG 7. It brought $89.99 while most of those graded ‘7’ by various authenticators in November had brought $40-55. More telling was the price of Santo’s rookie card in PSA 8 on Monday. One sold for $210; another for $225. During the last 30 days, the selling price of the average PSA 8 1961 Topps Santo rookie card had ranged from $134-170.
There have always been plenty of buyers. The average selling percentage for all Santo cards over the last 30 days is 43%– a pretty impressive number. Once Monday’s sales stats are added, that figure will be well over 50%.
There were 1,765 Santo cards, autographs and other memorabilia sold from Nov. 1 to Dec. 1 with the average price at $20.77.
Among the highlighted sales; a 1962 Topps PSA 10 at $3300.
Santo was the lone candidate to garner the necessary 75% of votes cast by the 16-member Golden Era Committee, which considered a ballot of eight former players and two executives whose contributions to the game were most significant from 1947-1972. The Golden Era Committee held meetings on Sunday in Dallas, site of the baseball winter meetings.
Santo becomes the 12th major league third baseman to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, the first elected at the position since Wade Boggs in 2005. In 15 major league seasons, Santo compiled a .277 lifetime batting average, with 2,254 hits in 2,243 games, while totaling 1,331 runs batted in and 365 doubles.
Santo, who passed away on Dec. 3, 2010, will be joined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 by any electees who emerge from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting, which will be announced on Monday, January 9.
Results of the Golden Era Ballot (12 votes needed for election): Ron Santo (15 votes, 93.75%); Jim Kaat (10 votes, 62.5%); Gil Hodges (9 votes, 56.25%); Minnie Minoso (9 votes, 56.25%); Tony Oliva (8 votes, 50%); Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Charlie Finley, Allie Reynolds and Luis Tiant each received less than three votes.
The 16-member Golden Era Committee was comprised of Hall of Fame members Hank Aaron, Pat Gillick, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson and Billy Williams; major league executives Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Roland Hemond (Diamondbacks), Gene Michael (Yankees) and Al Rosen (retired); and veteran media members Dick Kaegel, Jack O’Connell and Dave Van Dyck. Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark served as the non-voting chairman of the Golden Era Committee.