Minnie Minoso’s Bid to Play Again in 1990

In September 1990, Minnie Minoso was planning to make a token appearance for the Chicago White Sox at old Comiskey Park, to become the first major league baseball player to appear in six decades. Minnie said: ”I’m ready. I’m practicing. I’m ready. The only thing to stop it would be a broken leg.”

Saturnino Orestes Armas Minoso was 67, and taking batting practice with the ChiSox to prepare for his at-bat. He said of the critics who thought he was disturbing the integrity of the game: ”I have a professional respect for baseball players. I’m going for a record. Everyone asks and calls, ‘We want to see Minnie.’ It’s like a pitcher trying to pitch to make 300 wins. You always have ambition in life. I have ambition.”

Michael Veeck said of Minnie’s two games in 1980, at 57: ”I remember him popping up. And I remember everyone in the ball park, myself included, watching this man run out a pop fly. Crowds, as a rule, never really think as one. But I guarantee everyone was thinking, ‘This is the way you play the game.’ ”

Back in 1980, Minoso said, ”I think I can play until I die.”  In 1990, he modified that: ”I don’t know about another 10 years. I don’t say no. I might say, ‘No, that’s it.’ I don’t like to talk ahead of time. I know I’m ready now. To hit the ball consistently, and drive the ball, that’s no problem.”

On September 22, 1990, came the news that Minnie’s bid wasn’t getting by the commissioner’s office. The Associated Press reported:

Minnie Minoso has struck out in his bid to become the first major league baseball player to appear in six decades. Commissioner Fay Vincent directed the Chicago White Sox not to activate the 68-year-old Minoso in the final days of the season, the team said yesterday.

”We had never gotten to the point where we’d decided to let Minnie play, but now it’s a moot point,” Jerry Reinsdorf, the White Sox chairman, said in a statement. Reinsdorf did not specify why Vincent took the action, but it had been reported that some baseball officials thought Minoso’s playing again was a publicity stunt that would hurt baseball’s integrity.

Published in: on December 12, 2008 at 9:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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