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Santo elected to Hall of Fame

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Former Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Santo, who died last December 3, was the lone candidate among 10 to receive the necessary 75 percent of the votes cast by the 16-member Golden Era committee. With 12 votes needed for election, Santo received 15.

The Golden Era candidates are comprised of players, managers, executives and umpires from 1947-72, and are considered for Hall election every three years.

Other candidates who fell short of election were former players Jim Kaat, Gil Hodges, Tony Oliva, Luis Tiant, Minnie Minoso, Allie Reynolds and Ken Boyer, as well as former owner Charlie Finley and former executive Buzzie Bavasi.

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 with five Gold Glove Awards, 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.

Santo was 70 years old when he died after battling bladder cancer. He also suffered through diabetes that resulted in leg amputations.

"All who knew Ron or welcomed him into their homes on the radio recognize he was so much more than a Hall of Fame baseball player. He was the beating heart of Cubs fans," said Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts in a statement Monday. "As an athlete, he was our All-Star. As a radio analyst, he carried our passion. For those battling illness or disease, he remains an inspiration. And for all of us who had the honor of calling him our friend, he is forever beloved.

"Though it is bittersweet that Ron is not here to enjoy this day, we are comforted by the pride members of the Santo family have for their husband, father and grandfather. On behalf of the Chicago Cubs organization and all of our fans, we congratulate Ron Santo's family on this historic day and look forward to his induction next summer."

Santo will become 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.

Santo will be joined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 by any electees who emerge from the Baseball Writers' Association of America voting, which will be announced on Monday, January 9.

12/05 13:15:53 ET