Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Can We Finally Let Minnie Minoso Into The Hall of Fame?

First and foremost I want to start by saying that our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the late Minnie Minoso, he died at age 92 last week and will be truly missed. From Minoso’s first at bat, which was a two run home run, to becoming the first black player in Chicago to his death Minoso played the game and his life his way, the best way, and it’s a shame that the man is not in the Hall of Fame. It’s also a shame that many borderline cases like his don’t get picked up by the veteran’s committee until after their death but that may be, and should be, the case with Minoso.
Minoso played 12 of his 17 major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox hitting .304 with 135 home runs and 808 RBI. Minoso did enough to win over Chicago and had his #9 jersey retired in 1983 while also receiving the honor of having a statue modeled after him outside of Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field. The problem with Minoso’s Hall of Fame push was that he did everything well but not especially great. He could hit for average, he could hit for power, he could field, he could bunt, he could steal bases, he got on base, he created runs, etc. etc. etc.

Minoso was a nine time All Star, won three Gold Gloves in left field, is currently 9th on the All Time hit by pitch list with 192 HBP and finished in the Top 4 of the MVP voting four separate times although never winning the award. Minoso fell victim to dominant Yankees teams in the AL and never got a chance to showcase his talents in the postseason and never realized his lifelong dream of making the Hall of Fame, a wrong that needs to be righted as soon as humanly possible. We’ll now finish this post with a word from our President, Barack Obama:

For South Siders and Sox fans all across the country, including me, Minnie Minoso is and will always be "Mr. White Sox."
The first black Major Leaguer in Chicago, Minnie came to the United States from Cuba even though he could have made more money elsewhere. He came up through the Negro Leagues, and didn't speak much English at first. And as he helped to integrate baseball in the 1950s, he was a target of racial slurs from fans and opponents, sometimes forced to stay in different motels from his teammates. But his speed, his power – and his resilient optimism – earned him multiple All-Star appearances and Gold Gloves in left field, and he became one of the most dominant and dynamic players of the 1950s.
Minnie may have been passed over by the Baseball Hall of Fame during his lifetime, but for me and for generations of black and Latino young people, Minnie's quintessentially American story embodies far more than a plaque ever could.

Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to his family and fans in Chicago, Cleveland, and around the world.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)