Bears

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

Bears still have much to prove after disappointing loss to Patriots

Bears still have much to prove after disappointing loss to Patriots


 Beating the, arguably, best coach and quarterback pairing in NFL history is a difficult enough task. Trying to do it while allowing two touchdowns on special teams? Good luck. 
 
The Bears will leave Soldier Field frustrated with their 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday for a number of reasons, but top of the list will be Cordarrelle Patterson’s 95-yard kickoff return score and a blocked Pat O’Donnell punt that was raced into the end zone by Kyle Van Noy. A special teams unit that had been solid all year — and forced a fumble on a Patterson kickoff return in the first quarter Sunday — suddenly became a disaster, allowing an uncharacteristically undisciplined Patriots side back into the game, and then ahead in it. 
 
Add in an inaccurate game from Mitch Trubisky — who completed 26 of 50 passes for 333 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions — and an uneventful afternoon for Khalil Mack and the pass rush, and the Bears had to scratch and claw to hang with New England. 
 
Interestingly, after all week hearing from Bears coaches and players about how they couldn’t let the Patriots take them out of their own game, it felt like Bill Belichick and Tom Brady did exactly that. Mack frequently dropped into coverage — but so did Leonard Floyd, so maybe it wasn’t all about Mack’s injured ankle. While Brady frequently got the ball out quick, when he didn’t he was rarely pressured. 
 
And on offense, Taylor Gabriel had the same number of targets (one) as offensive lineman Bradley Sowell until midway through the fourth quarter. Trubisky dazzled with his legs, covering over 70 yards on an eight-yard touchdown run and dancing his way to a 39-yard scramble that set up a touchdown in the third quarter. 
 
But Trubisky’s struggles were clear, with the second-year quarterback throwing two ill-advised passes that should’ve been picked off in the end zone and then underthrowing Anthony Miller in the fourth quarter, allowing Patriots safety Jonathan Jones to make a tremendous interception. New England drove 96 yards after that pick into the end zone, with Brady taking apart a defense that missed two tackles on a 55-yarder to Josh Gordon, extinguishing any hope the Bears had of a comeback.
 
While Trubisky did lead a scoring drive after Adrian Amos assisted Kyle Fuller for an interception, cutting the deficit to seven. And Trubisky nearly pulled off a miracle with a Hail Mary to Kevin White, which was completed just shy of the end zone. 
 
The loss dropped the Bears to 3-3 and heaps plenty of pressure on Matt Nagy’s side to win seemingly-winnable games in the next three weeks: At home against the New York Jets, on the road against the Buffalo Bills and at home against the Detroit Lions. But then again: When the Jets come to town next weekend, it’ll have been nearly a month since the Bears’ last win. How the Bears fare over these next three games will be a clear window into if this team is a legitimate contender or one that faded after a strong start. 

WATCH: Mitchell Trubisky runs like Michael Vick for 8-yard touchdown

WATCH: Mitchell Trubisky runs like Michael Vick for 8-yard touchdown

The New England Patriots defense wasn’t giving Mitchell Trubisky many options through the air, so he decided to take matters into his own hands at Soldier Field.

The young quarterback’s legs were the Bears’ most-effective weapon in the first quarter, as Trubisky led the team with 35 rushing yards on four carries in the opening period of play.

He capped it off with an eight-yard touchdown scramble that had him looking like Michael Vick on the field.

The Bears will need to have a more well-rounded offensive attack to keep up with teams like the Patriots, but Trubisky found what was working in the first quarter.

Perhaps most importantly, he’s been smart and safe with his running, opting to slide and go to the ground on his big plays to avoid any big hits.

His legs continue to make this offense more dynamic, to keep up with top-notch opponents like New England.