The first autograph I ever received from anyone was from Minnie Minoso, a gracious ambassador for the White Sox and baseball in general. A lot of Chicago baseball fans were hoping that he would get a call yesterday from a special committee of Negro League and pre-Negro League historians informing him that he would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for Minnie Minoso.
We can debate all day whether he deserved to be enshrined in Cooperstown (his Major League stats don’t seem extraordinary until you realize that he was deprived of his prime years at the top level of the game because of racial segregation). One thing is clear, though – Minnie Minoso has handled himself with grace and class for the past seven decades with nary a word, complaint, or campaign about the Hall of Fame. He put it best in a statement yesterday: “I know that baseball fans have me in their own Hall of Fame – the one in their hearts… that matters more to me than any official recognition. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be, and I am truly honored to be considered. I’ve given my life to baseball, and the game has given me so much. That’s what matters the most to me.”
A certain broadcaster/former third baseman from the North Side of Chicago should take note.