Monday, December 05, 2005

December 5th, 1973

Ron Santo Declines Trade

This is the kind of thing which is probably only interesting to me and other people who consider writing about baseball every day for a small (but much appreciated) web audience the very peak of a good time, but such is life. This isn't notable for being the first time a player had protested a trade--it happened all the time, but rather the circumstances surrounding it. Santo, the longtime Cubs' third baseman (and now broadcaster) who will hopefully someday be inducted into his rightful place in the Hall of Fame, was to be traded to the Angels for a pair of pitchers. Santo declined however, being the first player to do under the now common but then new arrangement that a player could decline a trade if he had been in the Majors for ten years and with his current team for five. Forced to scuttle their initial plan, the Cubs instead found a trade both they and Santo were happy with, moving him from the North Side to the South, as Santo spent the last year of his career with the White Sox.

There's plenty to remember about Ron Santo's career and life (as I mentioned earlier, he should be in the Hall of Fame) but there's nothing like some trivia to round off a player's career. So there you are: Ron Santo, the first 10-and-5 man.

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