Padres News: Former PCL Padre Minnie Monoso Remembered


“The Cuban Comet” Minnie Minoso has passed away at the age of 92 in Chicago. Minoso played parts of 17 seasons in the major leagues, mostly as a third baseman or in the outfield. He was known as an above average defender.

Minnie Minoso is widely regarded as the first Black Latino Star in the major leagues. After making his debut in 1949 for the Clevland Indians, Minoso was sent down to the minor leagues for more seasoning.

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The San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League is where he was sent.  Playing two seasons at Lane Field, Minoso put up fantastic numbers. A .319 batting average, 42 home runs and 190 RBI with 43 stolen bases. He enjoyed his time in San Diego saying:

"“To have the memories, its something i don’t have words to express. From the bottom of my heart, I mean it. They opened the door for me and gave me the push in the game. Whether i played good or bad, they were behind me. There was never a good game without a good crowd. They made the games even better. We had a beautiful stadium, a beautiful location.”"

He fondly remembered his time in San Diego and was the last Padres link to the old Negro Leagues. The man was a class act and was widely known as Mr. White Sox. The Chicago White Sox retired his number 9 in a 1983 ceremony at Comiske Park.

The most interesting detail about Minoso’s career is that he played a major league game in 5 different decades. As a rookie in 1949 with the Clevland Indians he amassed 16 at bats. Minoso was a 9 time all-star for the White Sox in the 50’s and 60’s. Retiring in 1964 initially. That’s when things began to get interesting.

Minoso played some more in the Mexican League for a while, and he is actually an inductee in the Mexican League Hall of Fame. He was asked to return to the White Sox in 1976 as a coach, and in late September as a publicity stunt the team activated him to their 25 man roster.

At the age of 50, Minoso went 1-8 (with no strike-outs) on the season and became the third player to get a hit after the age of 50. His two out single off Sid Monge on September 12, 1976 was truly historic. Four years later, in 1980, Minoso was again added to the White Sox 25 man roster and went 0-2 in his two appearances. He became the first player to play in five different decades in the major leagues. Amazing.

A true legend of the game, he will be deeply missed. Minoso totaled 6,579 major league at bats. He slugged 186 home runs and had 1,023 runs batted in, and 205 stolen bases. A career line of .298/.389/.459 was very respectable and he has come really close to making it to the MLB Hall of Fame. He gained 21.1 percent of the vote in 1988, but yet not even close to gain entrance. Perhaps some day we will see former PCL Padre in Cooperstown.

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