Minnie Minoso was an outstanding outfielder whose 16-year career was spent mostly with the Chicago White Sox. But the seven-time All-Star is probably best remembered for a rare accomplishment thanks to the White Sox’s canny marketing department — the Cuban native appeared in MLB games in five separate decades.
He debuted in 1949 with the Indians, became a star in the 1950s and retired in 1964 — then was activated for three games in 1976 at age 50 and went 1-for-8 as a DH.
In 1980, at age 54, he was back in a Major League lineup for Chicago, going 0-for-2 in two games.
On this day in béisbol, July 16, 2003, the so-called “Cuban Comet,” stepped up to the plate yet again in another professional game — at age 77.
Penciled in as the DH for the St. Paul Saints of the independent Northern League in a game against the Gary SouthShore RailCats, Minoso showed he still had a good eye and drew a walk.
The first Black Cuban in the Major Leagues and the White Sox’s first Black player, Minoso also played for the Negro Leagues in the late 1940s and in Mexico in the 1970s. The lifelong ambassador for the Sox died in Chicago in 2015 at age 89.
Also on this day: Jose Cardenal of the Cleveland Indians gets his second unassisted double play of 1968 in a 2-1 win over the Angels. The rare feat made him only the fourth outfielder in MLB history to pull off a pair of solo twin-killings in one season.
— Robert Dominguez
Robert Dominguez is co-author of “Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls” and writer of the upcoming “El Salón: The Trials and Triumphs of Baseball’s Latino Hall of Famers.”
Photo: Bob Lerner, Look magazine / Public domain