In a few days, I’ll be starting the daily S.T. games with the scores and recaps.
Just five weeks ago, Chicago lost a legend in Cubs great Ernie Banks. Now White Sox fans have lost a legend in Minnie Minoso, who died today at the age of 89.
Minoso was the first black to play for a Chicago team. He started his career with Cleveland (1949, 1951) went to the White Sox (1951-1957), back to Cleveland (II, 1958-1959), back to the White Sox (II, 1960-1961), the St. Louis Cardinals in 1962, Washington Senators 1963 and the White Sox 1964, 1976 and 1980. Yes, you read that right. At the age of 50, Minoso went 1 for 8 in 1976 for the White Sox as a publicity stunt (play in 4 decades) and he was 0 for 2 in 1980 at age 54 to have him play in 5 decades.
Primarily a LF, Minoso had a 162 g. ave. of .298-16-90 with 18 SB and an OPS+ of 130. Four times he finished 4th in MVP voting, and he finished 8th another year. He was an All-Star in seven different years, a 3x Gold Glove winner, and led the league in hits once, doubles once, triples 3x, SB 3x, total bases once and getting HBP 10x. He hasn’t made the HOF yet and never appeared in a postseaso game.
Besides getting a new Marty Appel book, I also am receiving a new bio on Billy Martin. Here is the press release…
- How he was ridiculed for his overly large nose and jug ears in his youth, helping develop his quick trigger
- His claim that he “never started a fight in his life”
- The importance of Kenney Park in Martin’s baseball life
- The original odd couple: Unlikely buddies Joe DiMaggio and Billy Martin
- How he hobnobbed with the cultural icons of his generation: Frank Sinatra, Rock Marciano, Doris Day, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Gleason, and Lucille Ball, among many others
- His use of amphetamine tablets during his playing days
- His close relationship with Casey Stengel
- The friendships with Whitey Ford and Mickey Mantle
- The story behind the infamous fight at the Copacabana in 1957
- The strategic marketing plan of the Yankees front office to cast Billy as an unwelcome influence on Mantle
- The depth of the heartbreak after his trade from the Yankees in 1957
- Billy magical managerial triumphs for teams in Minnesota, Detroit, Texas and Oakland
- The affect of the dugout conflict with Reggie Jackson on national TV in 1977
- Reggie’s claims of Martin’s bigotry
- The never-ending circuslike atmosphere of 1977
- The hypnotic and surreal love-hate Billy-George-Reggie triangle
- The classic Miller Lite commercials
- How juggling wives and paramours was a major distraction during his career
- Accounts that some of the women he dated were underage
- His reputation as a one-year manager
- The bizarre moments of the 1983 season including Brett’s pine tar home run and Winfield’s dead sea gull
- The emotional Billy Martin Day in 1986
- Blow by blow of his well-known fight with Yankees’ pitcher Ed Whitson
- Whether he should be considered for Cooperstown.
- The account of a secret meeting with Steinbrenner, where the plan to re-hire Martin again in 1990 was devised
- Whether Billy was the driver or passenger in his fatal car crash
- Jill Martin—Billy’s widow—breaks her silence 25 years later about the final moments of Martin’s life