Ronald Edward Santo (February 25, 1940 – December 3, 2010) was an American Major League Baseball player and long-time radio announcer. A power-hitting third baseman, he was a nine-time All-Star in a career that spanned from 1960 to 1974, mainly for the Chicago Cubs. Deft defensively as well, Santo won five Gold Gloves at his position, proving a highly productive player despite suffering from diabetes. Carefully concealing the condition for most of his career, it eventually necessitated the amputation of the lower half of his right leg.
While initially showing little support for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Santo's standing among baseball enthusiasts and sabermetricians has gradually increased over time. He is widely regarded today as one of the best ballplayers not to have been admitted to the Hall.
Santo was signed as a free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 1959, and made his debut on June 26, 1960. In 1961 he set a Cubs record with 41 double plays at third base, breaking the previous mark of 33 set by Bernie Friberg in 1923. In 1962 he led the National League in assists for the first time with 332, setting the team record for assists at third base, breaking the mark of 323 set by Randy Jackson in 1951. Santo continued to lead the National League in assists every year through 1968, breaking Ned Williamson's major league record of leading the league six times; Brooks Robinson went on to lead the American League eight times. Mike Schmidt eventually tied Santo's National League mark of seven. In 1963 Santo broke the modern National League record with 374 assists at third base, passing Tommy Leach's 1904 mark of 371. In 1966, he set the all-time league record with 391, the previous record being Billy Shindle's 382 in 1892; his total was 99 higher than that of league runner-up Ken Boyer. Santo broke his own record in 1967 with 393 assists, which remained the National League record until Schmidt posted 404 in 1974. He also finished fourth in the 1967 National League Most Valuable Player Award voting results. Santo's assist totals from 1963 through 1968 were the sixth highest by an National League third baseman between 1905 and 1973. He also led the National League in putouts every year from 1962 through 1967 and again in 1969, tying the league record shared by Pie Traynor and Willie Jones in leading the league seven times; Tim Wallach later tied the mark as well.