DALLAS -- Legendary Cubs third baseman and broadcaster Ron Santo was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by a 16-member Golden Era Committee, which revealed the results of its balloting on Monday at the Winter Meetings.

Santo and Gil Hodges, for many years two of the most-debated candidates for Cooperstown, were once again up for induction on a 10-person ballot, representing players and executives who participated from 1947-72.

Needing 12 votes (75 percent) to be elected, Santo -- who died last year from the complications of diabetes and cancer -- received 15 of the 16 votes. Pitcher Jim Kaat finished second with 10 votes, followed by Hodges and Minnie Minoso with nine each and Tony Oliva with eight.

Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Charlie Finley, Allie Reynolds and Luis Tiant each received fewer than three votes.

Santo becomes the fourth member of the Cubs teams from the 1960s and '70s to enter the Hall, joining teammates Billy Williams, Ernie Banks and Ferguson Jenkins. Williams was a member of the committee that elected Santo.

Santo will be inducted during next year's ceremony on July 22.

Also to be announced during the Winter Meetings are the winners of the 2012 J.G. Taylor Spink Award on Tuesday and the Ford C. Frick Award on Wednesday. The Spink is awarded by the Baseball Writers' Association of America to a baseball writer for long and meritorious service from that group. The Frick Award annually honors a baseball broadcaster for his excellence.

The annual BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot was sent out this past week and includes Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays pitcher Jack Morris and a host of players whose names are appearing on it for the first time. Larkin is on the ballot for the third time and seemingly has the best shot at being elected. Last year, he garnered 62.1 percent of the vote.

The BBWAA ballot winners will be announced on Jan. 9 by Hall president Jeff Idelson. MLB.com will simulcast MLB Network's coverage of the announcement at 2 p.m. ET.

The Golden Era Committee gathered on Sunday to discuss the candidates and voted early Monday morning prior to the announcement.

The Golden Era Committee took its first crack at it this year with a pre-integration, pre-1946 committee to hold its first election next year. The post-expansion committee voted in general manager Pat Gillick last year. The trio of smaller committees cycle every three years. Finalists each year are selected by a BBWAA-appointed Historical Overview Committee. To be eligible this year, candidates must have played at least 10 Major League seasons, not appear on MLB's ineligible list and have been retired for 21 or more seasons.

Managers, umpires and executives must have spent at least 10 years in baseball and be retired for consideration.

Members of the Golden Era Committee were Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson, Don Sutton and Williams; Major League executives Paul Beeston, Bill DeWitt, Roland Hemond, Gene Michael and Al Rosen; and veteran media members Dick Kaegel, Jack O'Connell and Dave Van Dyck.
As a Cubs fan this makes me happy. Although I wished he would have gotten in when he was still alive, at least he got in.