(670 The Score) White Sox legend Minnie Miñoso’s long Hall of Fame wait ended Sunday evening, when he earned induction into Cooperstown by garnering 14 of 16 votes from the Golden Days Era committee.
“Minnie would have been surprised,” widow Sharon Rice-Miñoso said Monday. "He would have been honored. Minnie was very humble when it came to something like this. Honestly, I know Minnie would have cried. He was so humble and never really thought he deserved special recognition.”
Miñoso was voted in posthumously, having passed away in 2015. That he finally received the honor filled his family with joy.
“This tremendous honor would have meant a lot to my dad, and it means a great deal to us,” son Charlie said. "My dad lived the American dream. He was able to open doors and break barriers all while doing what he loved – fulfilling his lifelong dream to be a Major League Baseball player.”
Miñoso played three seasons in the Negro Leagues – including helping the New York Cubans win a championship in 1947 – and then had a 17-year MLB career. Miñoso was a nine-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner.
“The announcement is a terrific, well-deserved and a long overdue honor for Minnie Miñoso and the Miñoso family,” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. "While bittersweet because of his passing in 2015, the Hall of Fame is the fitting capstone to Minnie’s amazing career that started in segregation and ultimately led to Cooperstown.”
Miñoso played for the White Sox from 1951-’57, 1960-’61 and in 1964. He also made cameo appearances for them in 1976 and 1980, becoming the first player to appear in a game in five decades.
“We are still getting the messages and texts congratulating us,” Charlie said. "We keep hearing stories we did not know about him. These are about moments they shared with my dad that they are now sharing with us. It's bittersweet that he is not here, but it's a comfort for us to hear from all the people who loved him.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.