Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso Arrieta, commonly referred to as Minnie Miñoso was one hell of a player.He is one of just two players in major league history to play in five separate decades.Minoso debuted in 1949, but he was still officially a rookie when obtained by the White Sox in a three-team deal involving the Indians and A’s on April 30, 1951. On May 1, in a game against the Yankees in Comiskey Park, the young Cuban speedster became the first black player to don a White Sox uniform.Minoso finished his rookie year as the AL leader in stolen bases (31) and triples (14); his .326 batting average was second only to Philadelphia’s Ferris Fain’s .344, and his 112 runs fell one short of Dom DiMaggio’s league-leading 113. Though the Yankees’ Gil McDougald won the baseball writers’ Rookie of the Year honors, Minoso was TSN’s Rookie of the Year. He led the AL in stolen bases again in 1952 and 1953 and in triples in 1954, and tied for the league lead in steals in 1956 and in doubles in 1957.Traded with Fred Hatfield to Cleveland in December 1957 for Early Wynn and Al Smith, he was not around when the Go-Go White Sox won the 1959 AL pennant; Bill Veeck awarded him an honorary championship ring anyway. With Cleveland, Minoso hit a career-high 24 home runs in 1958, and he batted .302 in both 1958 and 1959 before the White Sox reacquired him. In 1960 he led the AL with 184 hits, was second to Roger Maris with 105 RBI, and batted over .300 for his eighth and final time. Following stints with the Cardinals and Senators, he retired after spending 1964 as a White Sox pinch hitter.He coached for the Sox from 1976 to 1978. The club’s president named him “Mr. White Sox” before his uniform number was retired in 1983. Minoso was a seven-time American League All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove outfielder. He was elected to the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame in 1984 and the World Baseball Hall of Fame in 1990. Since his retirement from the game, he has served as an ambassador for baseball and a Sox community relations representative. In 2002, he was inducted into the Shrine of the Eternals.
I for one will always look up to Minnie in a lot of ways, and i finally had the honor of meeting him this year. The guy is one of the most friendly ballplayers i have never met. He took the time out and talked to everyone around him. I hope next year i have the honor again to see him and talk to him a little more. Thank you Mr. Minoso for all the great things you’ve done for baseball and the Cuban people.
A Quote From Minnie Minoso:
“I know that baseball fans have me in their own Hall of Fame – the one in their hearts. That matters more to me than any official recognition. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be, and I am truly honored to be considered. I’ve given my life to baseball, and the game has given me so much.” — after he failed to earn election to the Hall of Fame by a special Negro leagues ballot in 2006