08/10/2011 7:00 PM ET
Cubs unveil Ron Santo statue at Wrigley Field
CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs today celebrated "Ron Santo Day" by unveiling a statue of the Cubs legend at the corner of Addison and Sheffield, only the fourth statue of its kind at Wrigley Field.
Members of the Ricketts and Santo families, many members of the 2011 Chicago Cubs and several of Ron's former Cubs teammates - including Ernie Banks, Glenn Beckert, Randy Hundley, Fergie Jenkins, Milt Pappas and Billy Williams - were on hand for today's unveiling.
In addition to the statue unveiling, "Ron Santo Day" includes a special Santo family pre-game recognition, a ceremonial first pitch by Ron's grandson, Sam, and members of the Santo family leading the signing of the Seventh Inning Stretch.
Today's statue unveiling is one of many ways in which Ron Santo has been honored this season. The Cubs remembered the Cubs legend on "Ron Santo Day" in Mesa during spring training on March 10. Additionally, all Cubs uniformed personnel are wearing a No. 10 patch this season in honor of Santo. The team also dedicated the cover of the 2011 media guide in Santo's memory.
Santo has joined Ernie Banks, Billy Williams and Harry Caray with a statue at Wrigley Field. Located near the corner of Clark and Addison, Banks had his statue dedicated on March 31, 2008. Williams, whose statue is at the corner of Addison and Sheffield, had his statue dedicated on September 7, 2010. Caray's statue is located at the corner of Waveland and Addison and was re-dedicated on September 1, 2010 (originally dedicated April 12, 1999).
Santo, who passed away December 3 at the age of 70, ranked among the elite during his 15-season big league career. Between 1960-74, only four players had 2,000 hits, 300 home runs and 1,300 RBI: Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Billy Williams and Santo. Also, only four players had 2,000 hits and 1,000 walks in that span: Hank Aaron, Carl Yastrzemski, Frank Robinson and Santo. Santo's 342 home runs were the most by any third baseman in his 15-season career, easily outpacing his next closest competitor in Brooks Robinson (248 home runs in that span).
In his 15-year career, Santo finished in the league top-10 in batting average three times, slugging percentage five times, on-base percentage seven times, base on balls nine times, games played eight times, home runs seven times, RBI eight times, runs scored three times and total bases five times.
He holds or shares many defensive records for third basemen, including most consecutive National League games at third base (364), most years leading the N.L. in putouts (seven), most years leading the N.L. in assists (seven straight), most years leading either league in total chances (nine) and most years leading either league in double plays (six).
Santo was a member of the Chicago Cubs radio team as an analyst since 1990 and was a pioneer in raising funds for juvenile diabetes research. For 32 years he hosted the Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes, which raised more than $60 million to support diabetes research, progress and continued hope for a cure.