The late Minnie Minoso always has been considered to be an all-time White Sox great. But he soon might be receiving the highest honor in baseball with election to the Hall of Fame.
Minoso’s case will be taken up by the Golden Days Era committee, which votes on players who played from 1950 to 1969. The vote will take place Dec. 5 at the winter meetings in Orlando, Florida.
Minoso, who was the first Black Latino player in the majors, is the patriarch of a long line of Latino players after the debut of Jackie Robinson.
‘‘Minnie was our Jackie Robinson,’’ former Sox pitcher Jose Contreras said Monday. ‘‘I remember the first time that I got into the White Sox’ clubhouse, and Minnie was there. It was like: ‘Wow, Minnie’s here.’ To me, he was a legend.
‘‘He was one of the reasons I started playing baseball when I was a kid. . . . I wanted to be like him. And then when I had the chance to meet him here, it was incredible.’’
Born in Havana, Minoso also represents the first in an extensive line of Cuban players to play for the Sox through the years, including Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert, Alexei Ramirez, Dayan Viciedo, Orlando Hernandez and Contreras.
‘‘I am thrilled to see that he is now back on the ballot again,’’ said Bob Kendrick, the president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. ‘‘Because as [Contreras] mentioned, you can never reduce Minnie Minoso’s career to just baseball. Minnie Minoso was the Latino Jackie Robinson, hands down.
‘‘And what he did, obviously, in this game is noteworthy and certainly justifies Hall of Fame merit. But what he meant for legions of Latino ballplayers to know that they, too, could have the dream of playing in the major leagues cannot be understated.’’
When looking at his statistics compared with those of other players of his time, it’s easy to see why the Hall of Fame might be in Minoso’s future. He had a .299/.387/.461 slash line with 195 homers, 365 doubles and 216 stolen bases in his 20-year career, including 12 with the Sox.