Blackhawks

Ron Santo by the numbers

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Ron Santo by the numbers

With Induction Weekend upon us, let's take a look back at the wonderful career of Ron Santo, with a bevy of numbers:

1 - Day one of Ron Santo's Major League career was June 26, 1960; the first two games of his career came in a doubleheader at Forbes Field in the Steel City.

Game 1: 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI in 7-6 win
Game 2: 1-3, 2 RBI, R in 7-5 win
Total: 3-7, double, 5 RBI, run.

Fun fact: Anthony Rizzo also made his Cubs debut on June 26...and also went 2-4 .

2 - Consecutive games in 1966 with an extra-inning walkoff homer.

May 28, 1966 - 12th inning Walkoff HR off Braves' Ted Abernathy
May 29, 1966 - 10th inning Walkoff HR off Braves' Billy O'Dell

And there have been two players to hit an extra-inning walkoff HR in consecutive games since - Albert Belle in 1995 and Albert Pujols in 2011.

5 - Home runs hit in 1974 as a member of the White Sox, including one last big game:

June 9, 1974: 2-homer game - both off Bill Lee -- including the only inside the park home run of his career.

10 - RBI in a doubleheader vs Expos at Wrigley Field on July 6, 1970.

Game 1: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, R
Game 2: 2-3, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB
10 - Jersey number retired Sept. 28, 2003. Since Santo wore this number there have been...

10 - Players to wear 10

Billy Grabarkewitz (1974)
Mike Sember (1977)
Dave Kingman (1978-80)
Leon Durham (1981-88)
Lloyd McClendon (1989-90)
Luis Salazar (1991-92)
Steve Lake (1993)
Scott Bullett (1995-96)
Terrell Lowrey (1997-98)
Bruce Kimm - manager (2002)

From "Now Batting, Number...: The Mystique, Superstition, and Lore of Baseball's Uniform Numbers" by Jack Looney.

12.62 - percentage of Santo's career plate appearances which were against Hall of Fame pitchers: 1186 career plate appearances against current Hall of Famers of 9397 career plate appearances (12.62 percent).

175 Bob Gibson (most against any pitcher)
147 Don Drysdale
124 Juan Marichal
107 Gaylord Perry
87 Steve Carlton
87 Sandy Koufax
86 Phil Niekro
79 Jim Bunning
79 Tom Seaver
67 Warren Spahn
59 Don Sutton
32 Nolan Ryan
30 Robin Roberts
10 Bert Blyleven
5 Fergie Jenkins
5 Jim Palmer
4 Rollie Fingers
3 Hoyt Wilhelm

This is an extremely high percentage. Consider that it's roughly one of every eight career PA -- about one every other game. By comparison, Carl Yastrzemski faced a Hall of Famer in 6.97 percent (93313392) of his career plate appearances.

15 - Number briefly worn by Santo in 1960, before switching to his customary No. 10.

Fun fact: Frank Thomas briefly wore 15 in 1990 before switching to No. 35.

64 - Number of games in which Ron Santo and Billy Williams both homered

Most games homered in by a pair of teammates:

75 - Hank Aaron & Eddie Mathews
73 - Lou Gehrig & Babe Ruth
68 - Willie Mays WillieMcCovey
67 - Gil Hodges & Duke Snider
64 - Ron Santo & Billy Williams
61 - Harmon Killebrew & Bob Allison

From The SABR Baseball List & Record Book

68.4 - Santo's career WAR with Cubs. Best in franchise history since 1900. Better than Ernie Banks. Better than Billy Williams. Better than Ryne Sandberg. Better than Sammy Sosa.

Cubs WAR leaders (Baseball-Reference.com) 1900-current:

Ron Santo: 68.4
Ryne Sandberg: 65.0
Ernie Banks: 62.5
Billy Williams: 58.5
Sammy Sosa: 55.9

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

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AP

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident:

Cue Chelsea Dagger: Blackhawks blow out Capitals to snap eight-game losing streak

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USA TODAY

Cue Chelsea Dagger: Blackhawks blow out Capitals to snap eight-game losing streak

Win one game.

That was Joel Quenneville’s message during the Blackhawks’ eight-game losing streak, which finally came to an end on Saturday night.

How about a 7-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on home ice for a streak-breaker? Now that’s more like it.

Prior to Saturday, the Blackhawks hadn’t recorded a win in February — or a win at the United Center since Jan. 12. 

Though the Blackhawks will likely miss the playoffs for the first time since Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were rookies, a blowout win over the leaders of the Metropolitan Division Capitals had to have felt great.

"It’s a nice way to get over the hump," Toews said. "Sometimes you might just win a 2-1 game or just kind of grind it out, but it was nice for us to fill the net the way we did tonight."

Added Joel Quenneville, "Certainly feels 100 times better than coming in and trying to explain how we had a lead and were unable to sustain it. The complete 60 minutes, three periods the right way, more consistency in our game, way more pace than we’ve seen recently, composure with the puck, shooting around the net. It was fun but that’s one. Let’s see how we respond to this because there’s a lot of hockey left."

The Blackhawks are 25-26-8 with 58 points, and are 11 points out the final wild card spot, currently held by the Minnesota Wild.

Among the highlights:

— Seven different Blackhawks scored: Toews, Kane, Alex DeBrincat, Brandon Saad, Artem Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz, Ryan Hartman

— The Blackhawks are 74-6-4 in the regular season in which Kane and Toews both record a goal — and 41-0-0 in their last 41 games, according to NBC Sports Chicago stats guru Chris Kamka.

— Kane registered career assist No. 500, becoming the sixth Blackhawk with 500 or more. Kane is also the seventh U.S.-born player with 300-plus goals and 500-plus assists, joining Mike Modano, Keith Tkachuk, Jeremy Roenick, Pat LaFontaine, Joe Mullen and Phil Housley, according to Kamka.

"You think about the amount of great Americans that have played the game, how many players actually play hockey in the United States... Growing up all I wanted to do was play hockey," Kane said. "That means a lot, especially when you talk about American-born players."

— DeBrincat's 22nd goal of the season has him tied for the rookie-lead with Tampa Bay Lightning's Yanni Gourde. DeBrincat and Kane also lead the Blackhawks with 22 goals.