Chicago White Sox star Minnie Minoso dies at 89

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Minoso

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Another Chicago icon is gone.

Orestes “Minnie” Minoso, who might be best-remembered as the first black player on the Chicago White Sox and a player who played in an MLB game in five different decades, died Sunday. He was 89.

Minoso played in 17 big-league seasons, making his debut with the Cleveland Indians at age 23 in 1949. He finished his career with 1,963 hits and a .298 average, driving in 1,023 runs in 1,835 games. He was a nine-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner in his career, which was mostly spent in Chicago. His playing days ended in 1964 but he was famously signed to short-term deals with the promotion-minded Sox in 1976 and 1980. At age 54 in that final season, he went 0-for-2, to become only the second player to play in five decades. (The other was Nick Altrock, a pitcher from 1898 to 1924 who had single at-bat performances with the Washington Senators a few years up to 1933.)

“Our organization and our city have suffered a heart-breaking loss today,” said Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf in a statement. “We have lost our dear friend and a great man. Many tears are falling. … When you talk about the top players in the American League in the 1950s, you talk about Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle and Minnie Minoso.”

MinosoNT

Minoso led the league in stolen bases three times and in caught stealing six. He topped the league in triples three times and doubles once.

Minoso has a small amount of cardboard that’s peppered with certified autographs and memorabilia cards from recent years. He has just 263 total cards in the Beckett database that were valued at $4,658 (excluding rarities) before the news. Of those, 76 are certified autographs and 24 are game-used memorabilia cards.

His Rookie Cards appear in the 1952 Bowman and 1952 Topps sets both typically selling for $150 or less.

His most-recent certified autographs came in 2014 Panini National TreasuresNotable Nicknames set where he inscribed “Cuban Comet” along with every autograph on 99 cards.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisolds2009.

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