I was seven years old in 1951 and I loved the White Sox. When Minnie Minoso (they called him Orestes then) joined the team that year, I fell in love with him right away.
I didn’t know or care back then that he was Chicago’s first black player or the first black Latin star in the major leagues. I just cherished the way he played the game. Minoso was an aggressive hitter and base-runner, and the greatest all-around hustler I’d ever seen.
...One thing he says over and over is that nobody in the history of baseball hustled more than Minnie Minoso, and I believe that. He’s 89 now, and he does 150 situps every morning. He’s a rock. He’s so determined. He’s determined to be healthy and be positive. And he wants to be a baseball icon. He wants to be remembered as the great player he was. That legacy is hugely important to him. He’d like to be in Cooperstown, of course, and I think he should be.
Minnie hasn’t been taken as seriously as he should be. It’s because of his personality, his accent, and because he became a kind of a sideshow when Bill Veeck kept bringing him out of retirement to play—first in 1976 and then again in 1980—even though Bill’s original intention was to help Minnie get his pension.
Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:41 PM | 3 comment(s)
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