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.
Miñoso 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.
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.