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Minnie Minoso: A baseball Hall of Famer at last

The fact that he wasn't chosen sooner has long been considered a great injustice to the man and the sport.

Tribute to Minnie Minoso
Tribute to Minnie Minoso | By ChicagoPhotographer

December 6, 2021 8:58pm

Updated: December 6, 2021 8:58pm

Long overlooked by the Baseball Hall of Fame, Minnie Minoso finally was picked to take up his rightful place as a baseball legend in the class of 2022. 

The Cuban born Saturnino Orestes Armas (Arrieta) Minoso, known throughout his career as Minnie, was baseball’s first Black Latino star, and one of the game’s most exciting players of all time. 

Known as “Mr. White Sox” and the “Cuban Comet,” most of his career was in the 1950s and 60s, but he made a couple of comebacks, which were really largely publicity stunts. Others elected to the class of 2022 were Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Gil Hodges, Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil. 

Sadly, this recognition comes too late for Minoso to be able to bask in the honor at the ceremony next July, as he died in 2015.

Minoso played 17 seasons, mostly for the Chicago White Sox, but also for the Cleveland Indians, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Washington Senators. He was an All-Star nine times and he won the Gold Glove for best defensive player in his position, which was mostly in the outfield though he also played third base. Before joining Major League Baseball, he played three seasons in the Negro Leagues. He led the American League in triples and stolen bases three times and finished his career with 2,110 hits and a .299 batting average, according to the Chicago Sun Times

“This tremendous honor would have meant a great deal to my dad, and it means a great deal to us,” said Charlie Rice-Minoso, Minnie’s son. “My dad lived the American Dream. He was able to open doors and break barriers all while doing what he loved, fulfilling his lifelong dream of being a major-league baseball player. He devoted his life to baseball, to all the fans, to the community and to Chicago, which he loved. He was so proud to be Black, to be Cuban, to be an American and to be a professional baseball player for the Chicago White Sox. He also would have been so very proud to be a Hall of Famer.”