Minnie Minoso, longtime Chicago White Sox outfielder and the first black player to play for the ChiSox, has died, according to reports out of Chicago. Minoso was 90 years old.
Minoso was born in Cuba, and came to the United States to play baseball in the Negro Leagues in the late 1940s. Minoso made his major league debut in 1949 with the Indians, but was traded to the White Sox in April, 1951, as part of a three team deal. Minoso was an All Star in 1951, finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year balloting, and was 4th in the MVP balloting -- one of four times he finished 4th in the MVP vote. Minoso was a 7 time All Star and a 3 time Gold Glove winner who ended his career with a .298/.389/.459 career slash line.
Minoso also became famous for coming back and playing in a couple of games for the White Sox in 1976, at the age of 50, as well as in 1980, at the age of 54. That makes him the only player to appear in five different decades in the major leagues. He also appeared in a game for Indy League team St. Paul in 1993 at the age of 67 -- picking up a single -- and again in 2003, at the age of 77.
Just yesterday, ESPN ran a Q&A that Christina Kahrl did with Minnie Minoso, that is worth your time.
There has been support for Minoso to be elected to the Hall of Fame in recent years, due to his combination of a strong career and the importance he had in helping to integrate the game, but he was never able to garner the votes necessary to be elected.