"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice



Last week I wrote to Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated’s top baseball man, and asked what he made of the curious case of Minnie Minoso. Here is his response:

I grew up when Minoso was doing his play-in-a-fifth decade thing as a lark, so I admit I never took him seriously enough. While on the Vets screening committee, though, the more research I did on him the more I appreciated his career. Great player. I don’t know why the previous Vets committee didn’t look at him more. I’m pretty sure he’s one of the five best players on that Vets list. Whether he gets in or not, though, is another matter. I really don’t know what to expect out of that vote. It all depends on whether the living Famers use all 10 spots on their ballot or just pick one or two. Tom

I searched around the net for the skinny on Minoso and found several articles of note.

The Baseball Library has a good overview of Minnie’s career, complete with important dates, and career achievements. The Black World Today offers a look at Minoso as a Latin pioneer, Andy Trenkle makes a case for his selection to the Hall of Fame, and Jules Rothstein writes about what an all-around mench he is.

Finally, here is a tidbit from Sam Plummer, a long-suffering Cubs fan, and close family friend, who I’ve known since before I knew how to walk. I saw Sam over Christmas and mentioned my interest in Minoso. He started singing what I mistakenly remembered as a piece of classical music, only he replaced the lyrics with the names of the Go-Go White Sox from the 1950’s. I was set straight in an e-mail I recieved from Sam this afternoon:

It’s not classical music, it’s a Christmas carol, and the initial effect depends on the similarity of “Orestes” to “Adeste”, then on the resemblance of Spanish names to Latin words. Later you sort of bellow “Sherman Lollar” before sort of chanting “Paul Richards, Nelson Fox….”
Adeste, fideles,
Laeti triumphantes,
Venite, venite ad Bethlehem.
Natum videte, regem angelorum;
Venite adoremus,
Venite adoremus,
Venite adoremus dominum.
Or in English:
O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
Now then:
Orestes Minoso,
Chico Carrasquel,
Saul Rogovin, Billy Pierce, and Omar Lown.
Sherman Lollar, Luis Aparicio,
Paul Richards, Nelson Fox,
Paul Richards, Nelson Fox,
Paul Richards, Nelson Fox, and Early Wynn.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver