Friday, January 23, 2009

Card Spotlight: 1-23-09

1974 Topps Traded #270T - Ron Santo

I have to laugh every time I see this card. Not only is it horrendously airbrushed, but I still think that it's laughable that Ron Santo was ever on the White Sox. Santo is so ingrained into the folklore of Cubbie Nation, people tend to forget how his career ended.

In his final season, Ron hit a paltry .221 at the plate in 117 games. It was the first time that he hit single digits in home runs, since his rookie season in 1960. This was not a man in the prime of his playing days.

Santo hit career lows in home runs, batting average, runs, hits, doubles, OBP and slugging percentage. The Sox gave up a lot to get him. Steve Stone, Steve Swisher, Ken Frailing and Jim Kremmel were sent packing north to the sea of blue.

I wasn't born until 1976, so I don't understand the logic in trading all those players for a broken down player. Bill Melton wasn't going away, so Santo was used in the DH role, which he hated. The Sox tried playing him at second base, so he could play the field. That failed miserably. Maybe Santo should have okayed that trade to the Angels. By the end of 1974, diabetes wore him down and Ron retired from playing.

I look at this card and think of failed dreams and untapped potential. Still, it's a White Sox card. That's OK in my book.

7 comments:

Johngy said...

It was very strange to see Santo in a Sox uni. He hated his time on the Sox. I heard there was also friction between him and Jorge Orta, the regular 2nd baseman at the time.
I know Santo was at the end of the line, but the players the Cubs got weren't all that good. Kremmel and Frailing were just 2 arms. Swisher was a backup catcher at best. Stone was a .500 pitcher, who got much better in Baltimore. Still, giving up 4 for 1 year from Santo didn't make much sense from the Sox standpoint.
A pretty good blog about it is here:
http://wait-til-next-year.blogspot.com/2009/01/santo-stone-trade-in-1973.html

Steve said...

I do agree with your assessment of "failed dreams and untapped potential". Santo will always be a CUB !

MMayes said...

The Sox traded Jim Kremmel? Wow. He went on to have a pretty good career. He had that show on Comedy Central with degenerate Adam Carolla and is set up pretty sweet with a late night show now.

thirbasecoach said...

In the end the Cubs got a great announcer for a should be Hall of Famer.

I nearly died when the Cubs traded Santo to the Sox. But, it appears the Cubs knew more about Santo's remaining playing days than the Sox, or me.

Yes, Santo will always be a Cub.

Andy said...

Did I send you this card?

White Sox Cards said...

I think that the circumstances surrounding his playing days with the Sox were not beneficial to him. Maybe if they actually NEEDED a third baseman, things would have turned out better. Santo wanted to stay in Chicago and the Sox did him a favor. He could have vetoed the trade. Santo was one of the first players that the five and ten rule applied to.

Yes, Andy, this came in the first package you sent out.

victor said...

Big Fan - Will you be at Soxfest this weekend?

see ya,
cub FANatico

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