Minnie Miñoso Named to Baseball Hall of Fame

Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso is headed to the Hall

The late Cuban professional baseball player, nicknamed “The Cuban Comet” and “Mr. White Sox,” has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Minnie MiñosoMiñoso was widely considered baseball’s first Latino star in a career that started in the Negro leagues and continued over several decades with him excelling mostly for the Chicago White Sox. The was the first Black Cuban in the major leagues and the first black player in White Sox history, as a 1951 rookie he was the one of the first Latin Americans to play in an MLB All-Star Game.

Minnie MiñosoMiñoso was an American League (AL) All-Star for seven seasons and a Gold Glove winner for three seasons when he was in his 30s.

Miñoso joins Gil Hodges, former Minnesota Twins teammates Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat, a longtime television analyst after his playing days, Bud Fowler, and Buck O’Neil, a champion of Black ballplayers during a monumental, eight-decade career on and off the field.

Oliva, an 83-year-old Cuban former professional baseball right fielder, designated hitter, and coach, played his entire 15-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career for the Twins, from 1962 to 1976.

Oliva and Kaat are the only living new members. Dick Allen, who died last December, fell one vote shy of election.

Kaat pitched 25 seasons with a host of teams, including the Phillies, Yankees and Cardinals, winning 283 games. He served as an analyst for the Yankees before moving on to the MLB Network.

The 16-member Early Days and Golden Days committees met separately in Orlando, Florida. The election announcement was originally scheduled to coincide with the big league winter meetings, which were nixed because of the MLB lockout.

The six newcomers will be enshrined in Cooperstown, New York, on July 24, 2022, along with any new members elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

First-time candidates David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez join Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling on the ballot, with voting results on January 25.

Alex Rodriguez Among 13 First-Timers on Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

Alex Rodriguez is getting his first chance…

The 46-year-old Dominican American former professional baseball shortstop and third baseman, businessman and philanthropist is among 13 first-time candidates on the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame ballot of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Alex RodriguezA-Rod, as he’s nicknamed, is joined by fellow first-timers David Ortiz, Ryan Howard, Tim Lincecum, Justin Morneau, Jimmy Rollins, Jake Peavy, Carl Crawford, Prince Fielder, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, A.J. Pierzynski and Mark Teixeira, the Hall and BBWAA said.

A-Rod and the first-timers join 17 holdovers.

Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens make their 10th and final appearance on the BBWAA ballot along with Curt Schilling, who fell 16 votes shy of the necessary 75% in last year’s balloting. Schilling appeared on 71.1% of ballots, Bonds 61.8% and Clemens 61.6%.

Holdovers include Bobby Abreu, Mark Buehrle, Todd Helton, Tim Hudson, Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, Andy Pettitte, Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Omar Vizquel and Billy Wagner.

Sosa also will be on the ballot for the final time after receiving 17% last year.

BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of membership are eligible to vote. Ballots must be postmarked by December 31 and results will be announced Jan. 25.

Any players elected will be inducted into the Hall at Cooperstown on July 24 along with anyone elected by the Golden Days Era and Early Baseball Era committees, which are scheduled to meet on December 5.

No one was elected by the BBWAA in last year’s vote, and Schilling asked after the vote that the Hall remove him from the ballot.

“It’s all right, the game doesn’t owe me anything,” he said during a live video stream on his Twitter account.

Clemens has denied using performance-enhancing drugs and Bonds has denied knowingly using them. Bonds also has been accused of domestic violence and Clemens of maintaining a decade-long relationship with a singer who was 15 when they met.

Rodriguez was suspended for the 2014 season for violating MLB‘s drug policy and collective bargaining agreement, and Ortiz’s name was alleged to have appeared on a list of players who tested positive during 2003 survey testing.

Longtime LA Dodgers Spanish Announcer Jaime Jarrín to Retire After 2022 Season

Jaime Jarrín is preparing for his last call…

The 85-year-old Ecuadorian Hall of Fame sports broadcaster will retire as the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ Spanish-language announcer following the 2022 season, ending a 64-year run with the team.

Jaime Jarrín

Jarrín announced his decision on Tuesday, saying he wants to spend more time with his two sons and grandchildren, as well as travel. He turns 86 in December. Jarrín’s son, Jorge, retired in February, ending the first father-son duo to broadcast baseball on MLB Spanish-language radio.

The elder Jarrín began calling Dodgers games in 1959 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998, becoming just the second Spanish-language announcer to receive the honor.

“I’m grateful to the Dodgers, the best organization in baseball, for giving me the opportunity to do what I love most for 64 years,” Jarrín said.

He has called three perfect games (Sandy Koufax in 1965, Tom Browning in 1988 and Dennis Martinez in 1991), 22 no-hitters, 30 World Series and 30 MLB All-Star games during his career.

“Jaime was integral in introducing the Dodgers to Los Angeles and in giving a voice to the franchise’s Latino stars,” team president and CEO Stan Kasten said.

“We’re going to cherish this last year with him on the broadcast and wish him the best in retirement.”

Plans to honor Jarrín during the 2022 season will be announced later.

Ernesto Jerez Named a Finalist for Ford C. Frick Award for Excellence in Baseball Broadcasting

Ernesto Jerez has voiced his way to the top…

The 52-year-old Dominican sportscaster and commentator for ESPN Deportes has been named a finalist for the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting

Ernesto Jerez

Jerez has worked ESPN Deportes’ Sunday Night Baseball for more than 25 years along with the World Series, All-Star Game and World Baseball Classic.

He’ll face off against Hall of Fame pitchers Dizzy Dean and Don Drysdale, along with Fox‘s Joe Buck, ESPN‘s Dan Shulman and NBC‘s Al Michaels.

Dave Campbell and Buddy Blattner also are finalists, the Hall said Monday.

The winner will be announced on Dec.ember 9 and will be honored next July 24 ahead of the Hall of Fame inductions, along with 2020 Frick winner Ken Harrelson. The 2020 ceremonies were called off became of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s Frick Award is for national voices, part of a three-year rotation that includes broadcasting beginnings (autumn 2021) and major league markets (autumn 2022).

Broadcasters must have at least 10 continuous years of major league broadcast service with a team, network or combination.

Ronald Acuna Jr. Hits Historic Homer to Earn a Place in MLB History

Ronald Acuna Jr. is making his MLB mark…

The 21-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder, who plays for the Atlanta Braves, has become only the third player in baseball history to hit 40 homers in a season at 21 years old or younger.

Ronald Acuna Jr.

Acuna’s historic homer came with a flourish in the third inning of Atlanta’s 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. He launched a 432-foot drive into the second deck at SunTrust Park, standing at home plate to admire his shot off Aaron Nola before tossing the bat away and slowly rounding the bases.

Acuna was pumped to join a very exclusive club, but even more thrilled about the Braves clinching at least a tie for first place in the National League East.

“That’s the most exciting thing up to this point,” Acuna said through a translator. “That’s what we’re all looking for. I think for all of us, it’s just come out with that same energy, that same enthusiasm, get that win and hopefully celebrate. That’s something we’re all looking forward to.”

Mel Ott, who was 20 when he hit 42 homers for the New York Giantsin 1940, was the only player younger than Acuna to post a 40-homer season. Eddie Mathewsalso was 21 but about two months older than Acuna when he hit 47 homers for the Milwaukee Bravesin 1953.

Ott and Mathews are both members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“It feels incredible,” said Acuna, who was born December 18, 1997. “To be compared to superstars and Hall of Famers like that, especially at such a young age, wow.”

Acuna had gone five games since hitting his 39th homer.

“He might relax now and really go off,” manager Brian Snitkersaid. “That’s an unbelievable accomplishment at this stage of his career.”

Acuna is still three stolen bases shy of another milestone. He has 37 steals in his quest to become just the fifth 40-40 player in baseball history, following Jose Canseco(1988), Barry Bonds(1996), Alex Rodriguez(1998) and Alfonso Soriano(2006).