A Look at a Legend
The “Cuban Comet”, “Marvelous Minnie”, “Mr. White Sox”, or “the Latino Jackie Robinson.” These are all nicknames for one Saturnino Orestes Armas (Arrieta) Miñoso, most commonly referred to as Minnie.
Miñoso, well known for playing in seven different decades, left quite an impact on the game and those who knew him.
Known for his love of the fans, Miñoso was also willing to help out photographers. This image, captured by Osvaldo Salas, shows Miñoso in the mid-1950s with a camera, a pose that the photographer was known to request. Salas would take numerous photos of Miñoso, as well as other Latino players, throughout his career.
Miñoso had an incredibly cheery disposition and exuberant. When his contract was sold from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Washington Senators, Merrell Whittlesey of The (Washington) Evening Star wrote that Miñoso would not only be good for the club because of how he played, but “perhaps more importantly, they (the Senators) added some life and pep to a dead ball club.” Miñoso once described where he grew up as a place “where everything breathed life, humanity, and vigor,” something that he took and kept with him throughout his life.
As the first black baseball player in Chicago, as well as the first Afro-Latino in the majors, Miñoso dealt with many of the same challenges that Jackie Robinson faced. He worked through these difficulties by playing every game with passion, love, and an unmistakable drive. One of his manager with the Chicago White Sox, Paul Richards, said that “you have to love this game to stay in and take it as he did” after Miñoso was hurt rather badly by a pitch during one game. That was how Miñoso played. When asked about his baseball career as part of an oral history interview with author Larry Moffi, a recording that is a part of the Hall of Fame Library’s collection, Miñoso said, “I’m gonna do what I like to do, play the game.”
Miñoso passed away on March 1, 2015, at the age of 89. During his funeral in Chicago, current White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez sent a statement that was read aloud to those gathered to honor the baseball great:
“Without Minnie, without his courage to leave Cuba for the major leagues, without his willingness to accept taunts and slights, none of us would be major leaguers…As I take the field today, a Cuban proudly wearing a White Sox jersey, I will do so thinking of Minnie. Thank you, my friend.”
From the Collection
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum features a collection of nearly 250,000 photographs like this one. Reproductions are available for purchase. To purchase a reprint of this photograph or others from the Photo Archive collections, please call (607) 547-0375 or email email@example.com. Hall of Fame members receive a 10-percent discount.
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