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Minnie Miñoso is considered the first Black Cuban to play in the MLB. He led the American League in triples three times and steals three times. Over 20 seasons he had 2,110 hits, 365 doubles, 95 triples, 195 homers, 1,093 RBI, 1,225 runs and 216 steals. He was a 13-time All-Star.
Miñoso is a Hall of Fame candidate as part of the Golden Days Era ballot which honors candidates who had their greatest contribution to the game between 1950-1969. The Hall of Fame vote is on Dec. 5.
The Op-Ed below is written by Miñoso's son.
My name is Orestes Arrieta Miñoso, Jr. I am the eldest son of Minnie Miñoso.
I would like to speak briefly about my father, who was the most dedicated ballplayer I have ever seen.
He always arrived at the park early and was among the last to leave. I was with him many times after games until the wee hours of the night as he signed one autograph after another and took one picture after another. He would even give away bats to young kids, that had been cracked during the game and he reassembled by hand.
And why did he do this? It was a very small token of the appreciation he truly felt in his heart. He did it because he cared about young kids. He cared about the fans and the City of Chicago. And he cared so deeply for the Chicago White Sox.
If Tommy Lasorda bled blue for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnie Miñoso bled the colors of the Chicago White Sox. And he bled for the game of baseball throughout his career; from playing with broken fingers and toes, to even breaking his wrist and suffering skull fractures.
But to him, it was a necessary sacrifice for him to live his American Dream because that is how much he loved and respected the game of baseball.
He taught this love and respect to other players who came after him. He taught it to me when we played side-by-side together in Mexico. And he taught it to the numerous other players he took under his wing, many of whom are on the current roster.
This is the man that not only excelled on the field but as an ambassador for the Chicago White Sox and the American League. As a community relations ambassador, he dressed the part and talked the part, and he was an outstanding representative of the organization.
Everywhere he went he was admired and respected, not only as the ballplayer, but as the man and what he represented to so many. His immigrant story embodied the American Dream, America’s pastime and the Chicago White Sox until his last breath.
This is the same man who now has the opportunity to be rewarded in a very large way, should the Golden Days Era committee see fit. You will not regret it, I promise you. You will be respected for it. You will be applauded for it.
And so, we leave it in your hands to decide if the National Baseball Hall of Fame will induct Mr. Minnie Miñoso.
Orestes Arrieta Miñoso Jr. lives in the Chicagoland area with his wife, Thuy.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Minnie Miñoso belongs in the Hall of Fame. I should know, I'm his son.