The late Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso is having a golden moment…
The late Cuban professional baseball player, who was known as “The Cuban Comet” and “Mr. White Sox,” is among the 10 men on the ballot of the Golden Days Era committee for baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Miñoso, who died in March 2015, began his baseball career in the Negro leagues in 1946 and became an All-Star third baseman with the New York Cubans.
He was signed by the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball (MLB) after the 1948 season as baseball’s color line fell. Miñoso went on to become an All-Star left fielder with the Indians and Chicago White Sox. 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 was an American League (AL) All-Star for seven seasons and a Gold Glove winner for three seasons when he was in his 30s.
In addition to Miñoso’s name, the Golden Days Era ballot also includes Gil Hodges, Roger Maris, Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Jim Kaat, 83-year-old Cuban former professional baseball right fielder, designated hitter and coach Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce and Maury Wills also are on the ballot along with former Pittsburgh manager Danny Murtaugh, the Hall said.
The vote by the 16-person committee, whose members will be announced later, is scheduled for December 5 at the winter meetings in Orlando, Florida. Its ballot considers players whose primary contributions were from 1950 to ’69.
A separate 16-person early baseball era committee also will meet to consider pre-1950 candidates. Its ballot includes seven players from the Negro Leagues: John Donaldson, Bud Fowler, Vic Harris, Grant “Home Run” Johnson, Buck O’Neil, Dick “Cannonball” Redding and George Scales.
They are joined by Bill Dahlen, Lefty O’Doul, Allie Reynolds and George Scales.
To gain election from either committee, a candidate must appear on at least 75% of ballots.
Anyone elected will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 24 along with any players elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, whose balloting will be announced January 25.
First-time BBWAA ballot eligible players include David Ortiz, Ryan Howard, Tim Lincecum and Alex Rodriguez.
Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will be on the BBWAA ballot for the final time.
Hodges, an eight-time All-Star first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers and manager of the 1969 World Series champion New York Mets, received 63.4% of the ballots in 1983, falling 44 votes shy of election in his final appearance on the BBWAA ballot.
Miñoso peaked at 20.9% in his second BBWAA ballot appearance in 1986. He got just 14.7% in his final appearance in 1999.
Maris, a two-time AL MVP who hit 61 home runs in 1961 to break Babe Ruth‘s single-season record, received 43.1% in his final BBWAA ballot appearance in 1988.
Candidates for the early-days balloting were picked by a special early baseball overview committee of five Negro Leagues historians — Gary Ashwill, Adrian Burgos Jr., Phil Dixon, Leslie Heaphy and Claire Smith — and five BBWAA members who have served on the Hall’s historical overview committee: Jim Henneman, Steve Hirdt, Rick Hummel, Jim Reeves and Glenn Schwarz.
Candidates for the golden era vote were selected by Henneman, Hirdt, Hummel, Reeves, Schwarz, Bob Elliott, Dave O’Brien, Jack O’Connell, Tracy Ringolsby, Susan Slusser and Mark Whicker.
The Today’s Game Committee (1988 to present) will consider candidates in December 2022 and the Modern Baseball Committee (1970-87) will meet in December 2023.