Monday, June 5

Immortal Cuba: Tony Oliva and Minnie Miñoso were elected to the Cooperstown HOF

After 45 years, the two former Cuban players were elected to the Cooperstown HOF.

After 45 years, the two former Cuban players were elected to the Cooperstown HOF.

Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

The Cubans Tony Oliva and Minnie Miñoso gave the surprise after entering the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, at least 45 years after ending his career as an active player in MLB.

Oliva, 83 years old, received the news in the company of her daughter without being able to contain the tears of emotion and acknowledged that His only regret is not being able to celebrate this achievement with his compatriot Minoso.

Upon receiving the news of his election to the Hall Of Fame (HOF), Tony Oliva exclaimed with great joy: “At last that call came” (…) “As you know, I am 83 years old. Many people told me that I should have been elected 40 years ago. Better to be alive to get into the Hall of Fame and to be able to greet and thank people ”, he indicated.

Both Latino players were received this honor after voting by two veterans committees. Along with them he was also exalted Buck O’Neil, defender of black players on and off the fieldas well as Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, and Bud Fowler.

Of those mentioned recently, only Oliva and Kaat, 83, who were teammates on the Minnesota Twins, are still alive. For his part, Dick Allen, who died last December, fell just one vote away from glory.

Minoso is in baseball history books for being the first black Latin American player to play in Las Mayores, doing it with the Chicago White Sox.

“It was our Jackie Robinson,” argued Oliva about his compatriot and player who broke the racial barrier in 1947. “Miñoso helped me a lot, giving me advice on the system. He was an idol for us ”, he stressed.

“This tremendous honor would have meant a lot to my father and it means a lot to us,” Minnie’s son Charlie Rice-Miñoso said in a statement. “My father lived the American dream. He was able to open doors and break barriers doing what he loved, fulfilling his dream of being a Major League Baseball player ”.

“He was proud to be black, to be Cuban, from being an American and being a professional baseball player for the Chicago White Sox. I would have been so proud to be a Hall of Fame ”, sentenced.

Miñoso was one of the few players who managed to play up to five different decades from professional baseball since he first retired in 1964 and returned for the 1976 season at the age of 50, wearing the White Sox uniform. The last decade he was current was in the 1980 season when he took a couple of shifts.

Oliva, who was born in Pinar del Río, was a three-time American League batting champion with the Twins. It was also selected eight times for the All-Star Game, batting .304 in 15 MLB seasons.

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