Saturday, March 7, 2015

Hidee hidee hidee hi

The funeral for Minnie Miñoso—also known as Mr. White Sox and the Cuban Comet—was held today at Holy Family Church in Chicago. Born Saturnino Orestes Armas (Arrieta) Miñoso, he died on Sunday at the age of 90, or 89, or however old he was.

Miñoso was the ninth player to break baseball's color barrier and the first African-American to play for the White Sox. A five-tool player and nine-time all star, he deserved to be elected to the Hall of Fame but was passed over in an era when Negro League accomplishments were not a factor in the voting.

When Miñoso played for the New York Cubans, he actually was one. He was on the 1947 squad that won the Negro World Series and played in two more all-star games as a Cuban.

In 1951, the Sox argued he should have been the American League Rookie of the Year. Maybe Gil McDougald took more ballots because the Yankees won the World Series that year; maybe he won because he was white. In either case, Miñoso's numbers were better in almost every category.

Miñoso's White Sox uniform number 9 was retired in 1983 and a statue of him was unveiled at U.S. Cellular Field in 2004. What I want to know—with no lack of respect—is why no one ever composed a tribute to the tune of the novelty hit by Cab Calloway and Irving Mills.
Folks, here's a story 'bout Minnie Miñoso.
He was a
... ah, ah, I'm stuck for a rhyme.
Maybe it's just as well. The lyrics would have been bittersweet because that was the story of Minnie Miñoso.

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