The Cubs on Wednesday unveiled the statue of former third baseman and longtime broadcaster Ron Santo, who passed away last Dec. 3 at age 70.
The statue, which features a blue cap and stirrups, depicts Santo, a nine-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glover with the Cubs, throwing to first after handling a grounder.
Santo played from the Cubs from 1960-74 and was in the team’s radio booth from 1990 until his passing. He ranks fourth in franchise history with 337 homers. WAR rates him as the No. 2 Cub all-time behind Cap Anson and ahead of Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams.
Santo, though, is not yet in the Hall of Fame after being passed over by both the BBWAA and the Veterans Committee.
Santo joins Banks, Williams and Harry Caray in having statues outside Wrigley. Banks and Williams were among those in attendence for today’s ceremony.
“He was a remarkable person,” Banks said. “Ron Santo did not have an enemy. He loved everybody.”
Because of course he did.
It wasn’t just his first at bat, but it was his first pitch. It came off of John Kilichowski, an 11th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Vanderbilt. The ball went out to left center, off the bat of the lefty Tebow.
Next time, meat, throw him a breaking ball.
The other night, Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit needed help getting off the field after the second benches-clearing incident with the Yankees. It was later revealed that Benoit tore a calf muscle during the fracas, ending his season.
Yesterday he pointed the finger at just about everyone else for the incidents like the one that led to his injury. Hitters specifically. From The Star:
“I believe as pitchers we’re entitled to use the whole plate and pitch in if that’s the way we’re going to succeed,” Benoit said. “I believe that right now baseball is taking things so far that in some situations most hitters believe that they can’t be brushed out. Some teams take it personally.”
That “take it personally” line is interesting coming from Benoit as, in this instance, it seemed pretty clear that the whole plunking exchange which led to his injury started because Josh Donaldson took an inside pitch that did not seem to be a purpose pitch at all, too personally.
Did Benoit take a veiled swipe at his teammate here? If so, that’s pretty notable. If not it’s notable in another way, right? As it suggests that Benoit believes it’s OK for his teammates to take issue with inside pitches but anyone else who does is part of the problem?
Which is it, Joaquin?