The legendary White Sox ballplayer Minnie Miñoso is getting another swing at a spot in baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Miñoso became the first Black Cuban to play in the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians. He went on to break the color line for the White Sox in 1951. After his days on the field, he settled in Chicago, joined the Sox as an assistant coach, and was a mentor for generations of ballplayers until his death in 2015.
“There is a direct connection there to who Minnie Miñoso represented, not only in the White Sox organization, but all over,” said Eduardo Perez, ESPN analyst and former major leaguer. “From the teams that he played with, to the Negro Leagues and most importantly to the Cuban community and to the Latino community and the Afro-Latino community of being able to not only do it on the field, but also do it outside the lines and inspire others.”
Miñoso is on the Golden Days ballot for candidates from the 1950s and 1960s.
Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, says it’s long past time to honor Miñoso with a Hall of Fame berth.
“He put the ‘go’ into ‘Go-Go White Sox’, he brought that brash and daring style that was signal to a Negro Leagues baseball,” said Kendrick. “He was this guy, beautiful ballplayer as Monte Irvin would say, who just electrified. So it has been frustrating to some degree to see people come up with what I thought were just illegitimate reasons to keep Minnie out of the Baseball Hall of Fame. This should have happened when he was still with us.”
The Hall of Fame era committees will announce election results for the class of 2022 on Dec. 5.