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Minnie Miñoso
Outfielder
Born: November 29, 1925 (1925-11-29) (age 84)
Havana, Cuba
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 19, 1949 for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
October 5, 1980 for the Chicago White Sox
Career statistics
Batting average     .298
Home runs     186
Runs batted in     1,023
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso Arrieta, commonly referred to as Minnie Miñoso (mean-YO-so, commonly pronounced minn-OH-so by media) (born November 29, 1925 in Havana, Cuba[1]), is a former star left fielder in Major League Baseball. He had earlier been a standout third baseman in the Negro Leagues, and would later play several seasons in Mexican baseball. He was nicknamed "The Cuban Comet" as well as "Mr. White Sox", and while playing in Mexico was "El Charro Negro" — "The Black Cowboy". He is one of just two players in Major League history to play in five separate decades (1940s-80s), the other being Nick Altrock. With brief appearances with the independent Northern League's St. Paul Saints in 1993 and 2003, Miñoso is the only player to have played professionally in 7 different decades. He was also the last Major Leaguer to have played in the 1940s to play a Major League game.

Miñoso was signed by the Cleveland Indians as an amateur free agent in 1948. Between 1949 and 1964 he played for the Tribe (1949, 1951, 1958–59), Chicago White Sox (1951–1957, 1960–61, 1964, 1976, 1980), St. Louis Cardinals (1962) and Washington Senators (1963). On May 1, 1951, in a game against the New York Yankees in Comiskey Park, the speedy Miñoso became the first black player to wear a White Sox uniform.

In his Major League career, Miñoso hit for a .298 batting average, with 186 home runs, 1023 RBI, 1136 runs, 1963 hits, 336 doubles, 83 triples, 205 stolen bases, 814 walks and 192 hit by pitch. His career ended with a .389 on base percentage and a .459 slugging average, combined for a solid .848 OPS. He was a 7-time All-Star. For his excellence in left field, he received the Gold Glove Award three times. He led his league in triples and stolen bases three times each. He was also the league leader in being hit by pitches an amazing ten times; Miñoso is 9th all-time in the category.

Contents

Comebacks

In 1976, after several years playing in Mexico, Miñoso returned to MLB to play three games with the White Sox. He picked up one single in eight at bats, becoming, at age 50, the second-oldest player ever to get a base hit in the Major Leagues (Hall of Famer Jim O'Rourke was the oldest when he hit safely at age 54 on September 22, 1904). Miñoso then returned to appear in two more games with the Sox in 1980. His five stints with Chicago cemented his image as a local baseball icon for at least three generations of Chisox fans. When the last game was played at the old Comiskey Park on September 30, 1990, Miñoso was invited to present the White Sox lineup card to the umpires in the pregame ceremonies at home plate. He did so while wearing the new uniform debuted by the White Sox that day, his familiar number 9 on the back.

In his 1980 appearance at age 54, Miñoso became the second-oldest player ever to bat in the majors (behind Nick Altrock, who pinch-hit in 1933 at the age of 57) and the third-oldest ever to play, behind only Altrock and Satchel Paige (who made an appearance at 59). In 1990, he was scheduled to make an appearance with the minor league Miami Miracle and hence become the only professional to play in six decades, however, MLB overruled the Miracle on the idea. Nonetheless, in 1993 at the age of 67, he made an appearance with the independent St. Paul Saints of the Northern League. Then, in 2003 he returned to the Saints and drew a walk, thus becoming the only ball player to appear professionally in seven different decades. The earlier extensions to his career with the Sox were publicity stunts orchestrated respectively by one-time Sox owner Bill Veeck and his son Mike, who at the time owned partial or controlling interest in the teams.

Awards and recognition

Minnie Miñoso was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame on August 11, 2002 in pregame on field ceremony at Comiskey Park, Chicago, IL.

Minnie took part in the victory parade for the Chicago White Sox 2005 World Series Championship.

In November 2005, Miñoso's name was placed on a special ballot of Negro League players to be voted upon by a special committee of Negro Leagues historians and scholars, though he did not win induction. Miñoso remains on the Veterans Committee ballot for the Hall of Fame as of 2006.

On opening day for the Chicago Cubs in 2008, he was in attendance for the unveiling of the Ernie Banks statue at Wrigley Field.

See also

External links

References

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