The Chicago Cubs today announced the organization will honor Ron Santo with a statue of his likeness, only the fourth of its kind at Wrigley Field, and remember the Cubs legend with a special patch to be worn by uniformed personnel throughout the 2011 campaign.
The statue will be unveiled at a to-be-determined Wrigley Field location on Ron Santo Day, the 10th of August, prior to the 7:05 p.m. game vs. the Washington Nationals. The patch worn by uniformed personnel will debut during spring training.
"Ron Santo will always be remembered as an extraordinary player, as the ultimate Cub fan and for his tireless commitment towards juvenile diabetes research," said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. "On behalf of the Cubs organization, we are proud to honor Ron Santo with a statue of his likeness at Wrigley Field so that future generations can remember his remarkable legacy on-and-off the field.
"The Cubs are also proud to remember Ron throughout this season with a commemorative uniform patch. We join our great fans in dedicating the 2011 campaign to a man who dedicated so much of himself to us."
Santo will join 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 $40 million to support diabetes research, progress and continued hope for a cure.