Ron Santo: Offensive Numbers and Gold Gloves Finally Add Up to a HOF Invite

Ron Santo's widow with his HOF plaque
Ron Santo's widow with his HOF plaqueJim McIsaac/Getty Images
Jerry TappSenior Analyst IIIJuly 23, 2012

Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo was inducted yesterday into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Santo was inducted after his election through the Golden Era Committee.

With offensive numbers that included 342 home runs, 1,331 RBI, a .277 career batting average, the National League leader in walks four times and a resume that included nine All-Star Game selections, you would have assumed, like many people did, that Santo would have made an appearance in Cooperstown sooner.

Defensively, Santo was one of a handful of players who won five or more consecutive Gold Gloves. He won his each season from 1964-68. He is one of only seven third basemen to win five-plus consecutive Gold Gloves. They are:

  • Brooks Robinson (16) 1960-75
  • Mike Schmidt (9) 1976-84
  • Buddy Bell (6) 1979-84
  • Eric Chavez (6) 2001-06
  • Ron Santo (5) 1964-68
  • Doug Radar (5) 1970-74
  • Scott Rolen (5) 2000-04

Fifty-one different players have won the Gold Glove in five or more consecutive seasons. Note, it has happened 52 times—pitcher Greg Maddux accomplished this twice: once in 13 consecutive seasons, the other time in five straight seasons. Following is a look at those players who hold the mark for most consecutive Gold Gloves at each position.

  • Pitcher: Jim Kaat (14) 1962-75
  • Catcher: Johnny Bench (10) 1968-77 and Ivan Rodriguez (10) 1992-2001
  • First Baseman: Keith Hernandez (11) 1978-88
  • Second Baseman: Ryne Sandberg (9) 1983-91
  • Third Baseman: Brooks Robinson (16) 1960-75
  • Shortstop: Ozzie Smith (13) 1980-1992
  • Outfielder: Willie Mays (12) 1957-68 and Roberto Clemente (12) 1961-72

In case you were wondering, here are the current longest streaks for most consecutive Gold Gloves:

  • 4 years: Yadier Molina (catcher)
  • 3 years: Mark Buehrle (pitcher)
  • 2 years: Brandon Phillips (second baseman) and Troy Tulowitzki (shortstop)

Note: Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki had his string of 10 straight Gold Gloves snapped last year.


Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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