Santo: We're proud and excited.
One of Chicago's baseball greats has been voted into the Hall of Fame.
The Hall's Golden Era Committee announced Monday Ron Santo was chosen from 10 candidates to get the designation. Santo, who passed away Dec. 3, 201, will be inducted on July 22.
Hall of Fame candidates must receive votes on 75 percent of the ballot to be elected. Twelve votes were needed, and Santo received 15 of 16 ballots cast by the committee.
“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. “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."
Ron Santo, Jr. told NBC 5's Paula Faris that the family is excited and proud about the honor.
"I won't lie, it's kind of sad that he's not here to see it happen, because I know how happy it would have made him," Santo, Jr. said. "I could just picture his voice over the phone telling me and hearing it, and of course seeing him would have just been something because his grin would have been ear to ear."
Fans called the honor bittersweet.
"It's too bad they made him wait til he died," said one fan outside Wrigley Field. "It's kind of unjust. Life's not fair as a Cubs fan I guess."
"It's sad because he's not here," said another fan. "It's long overdue."
Santo is the 46th inductee with Cubs ties. A nine-time all-star, Santo won five Gold Gloves and drove in more than 93 runs in eight straight seasons with the Cubs.
He finished in the league top 10 in batting average three times, hitting percentage five times, on-base percentage seven times, games played eight times and home runs seven times.