Dear Mr. Usher:
I appreciated your recent column on Ron Santo, and also the one a month ago on . I think it is helpful to be reminded every so often that not all athletes are prima donnas.
I do have to take issue with your statement that as a player, Santo was a "border-line Hall of Famer". I think a fair examination of his record reveals he is absolutely a Hall-of-Famer, despite the failure of the writers ot vote him in.
"Total Baseball" gives him the NL's highest player rating for the years '64, '66, and '67. Had he been voted these 3 MVP's like he should have been, his HOF induction would be a no-brainer. And considering he was 2nd in TPR in 1965, he surely had one of the best 4-year runs in history.
I agree with you that a person's total contribution to the game should be considered, and were that possible Santo would surely be in the HOF, considering his broadcasting career in combination with his playing career. But unfortunately, the HOF rules require that one must be inducted in a particular category, and total contributions are therefore not considered.
The same writers who snubbed Santo by voting him 8th, 18th(!), 12th, and 4th, respectively, for the MVP in the years 1964 through 1967, continued to snub him after his retirement by denying him his rightful place in the . What a shame.