Highlights from the Hall of Fame induction speeches this weekend in Cooperstown, N.Y. Barry Larkin and Ron Santo entered the Hall of Fame as players.
“Words cannot express my sorrow that Ron Santo didn’t live to see this day, that he’s not here to give this speech,” she said. “Believe me when I tell you I’d rather have Ron up here than me, but rest assured that he’s laughing at my expense to see me squirm a little bit. But this is not a sad day, not at all. This is a very happy day. It’s an incredible day for an incredible man, a man who lived an extraordinary life to its fullest. Indeed, he had a wonderful life. It was a spectacular journey fraught with trials and tribulations and incredible lows and highs. But Ron’s life was never about the lows. He always found a way to make it about the highs.” – Vicki Santo, wife of Hall of Fame third baseman Ron Santo
“I want to thank Bo Schembechler, who’s watching down on us today who recruited me to play baseball, I’m sorry, recruited me to play football. Yeah, I made that mistake, too. He redshirted me my freshman year and told me he was going to allow me just to play baseball. Occasionally I’d call him while I was playing in the big leagues and told him that was the best decision he ever made as a football coach. He didn’t like that too much.” – Barry Larkin, former Cincinnati Reds shortstop
“My training ground was in uniform, behind the plate and in the dugout. While learning how to play this game, I was learning how to think this game. And that was the basis for my learning how to explain the game years later.”- Tim McCarver, a former big-league catcher and the winner of the Ford Frick Award for broadcasting
“He said, ‘What do you want to be?’ and I said, ‘I’d like to work at the newspaper.’ So he’s looking at my marks and laughing and said, ‘You’ve got a 61 in English composition and you’ve got a 63 in English. You’ve got no chance,’ I said, ‘Sir, I’ve been working there for three years on weekends.’ He said, ‘You can never work there full time. Maybe you can get a job at the Napanee Beaver.’ It’s a bi-weekly. I went back to a reunion about 20 years later and I couldn’t find him. Not that I was looking for him.” J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun