Buck O'Neil and Minnie Miñoso to the Hall of Fame at long last
A rare great day for baseball
Today it was announced that Buck O'Neil and Minnie Miñoso, along with others, have finally been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
You will find more detailed and more eloquent writing about this elsewhere. Joe Posnanski has of course been making the case for both men for many years. He has hardly been alone.
It is a great day for baseball. Not a perfect day - they whiffed by not also electing Dick Allen, and it is bittersweet for this to have come after Buck and Minnie are gone - but it is nevertheless a great day.
Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, all also elected in, all very deserving.
Cooperstown has simply not been complete without Buck and Minnie. Not that Cooperstown could ever be complete - that’s not the point. But those were two exclusions too large and too painful. No more.
Minnie Miñoso was the first Black player in Chicago, northside or southside, traded to the White Sox from Cleveland in 1951. Bill James has argued that if he’d been able to be in MLB as soon as he was ready, he might today be considered among the 30 greatest players in the history of the game. How am I supposed to add to a statement like that?
Player, manager, coach, scout, ambassador, famously The Soul of Baseball to borrow from Joe Posnanski’s book. Buck O’Neil does not belong in the Hall of Fame for any one thing. He belongs in the Hall of Fame for everything. Read the book. Please.
I loathe that MLB has locked out the players, I have so many things I could say about all of that, but, not today.
Today is a great day for baseball. For Chicago, for Kansas City, for everyone, everywhere.