Larkin, Santo enter Hall of Fame
Cooperstown, NY (Sports Network) - Five-time Gold Glove winner Ron Santo and 12-time All-Star Barry Larkin were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.
Santo died on December 3, 2010 due to complications from bladder cancer and diabetes. Vicki Santo delivered a powerful induction speech for her late husband on Sunday.
She ended the speech with some special words: "I don't know of anyone who had more friends than Ron Santo. This is not a sad day. This is a great day. Celebrate with Ron and for Ron. I am certain Ronnie is celebrating with us right now."
Santo spent 14 seasons with the Cubs from 1960-73, then played his final year with the White Sox in 1974. He earned nine All-Star Game selections and hit 342 home runs with 1,331 runs batted in.
After his playing career, Santo was a beloved Cubs broadcaster from 1990-2010. He became an iconic figure for the team's fans, suffering through the club's many failures and cheering them in victory.
"In his legacy let it be known that here is a man that attained the highest honor his sport can give while playing with an insidious disease," Vicki Santo said.
Santo, who was 70 years old when he died, became the 10th player in franchise history to be elected to the Hall of Fame wearing a Cubs hat, joining Ernie Banks, Frank Chance, Kiki Cuyler, Gabby Hartnett, Billy Herman, Ferguson Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, Billy Williams and Hack Wilson.
In addition, he is the 12th major league third baseman to be elected to the Hall of Fame and the first since Wade Boggs in 2005.
Larkin was elected in his third year of eligibility after getting 86.4 percent of the vote.
Taken with the fourth overall pick by the Reds 1985, Larkin spent his entire 19 year career in Cincinnati. Larkin ended his career hitting .295 with 198 home runs, 960 RBI, 2,340 hits and 379 stolen bases. He also won three Gold Gloves and hit .353 during his team's four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics in the 1990 World Series.
Larkin's best season came in 1995 when he was named the NL's MVP after hitting .319 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI in 131 games of a strike-shortened season. He posted career bests the following season with 33 home runs and 89 RBI.
"I got a chance to play on great teams with great people," Larkin said. "In 1990 we won that championships. Wire-to-wire, and we knocked off a team that many had crowned champion before we even played."
Larkin also showed his love for the Reds fans.
"That championship wasn't just for the players, it was for the fans. The Reds fans! I was so happy to be able to celebrate that championship with the fans from my hometown," Larkin added.
Larkin scored at least 80 runs in a season seven times, hit 30-plus doubles in six seasons and stole 30-or-more bases five times, while winning nine Silver Slugger awards.
Tim McCarver and Bob Elliott were honored on Saturday in a ceremony. McCarver received the Ford C. Frick Award for his contributions in broadcasting, while Elliott of the Toronto Sun was given the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for sports writing.
07/22 15:45:56 ET