Right On Time
Sunday December 5, 2021 was a day to celebrate. Buck O'Neil and Minnie Miñoso were selected to be enshrined in Cooperstown as part of the class of 2022. There were a total of 6 players elected by 2 special committees made up of 16 members each.
The Early Baseball Committee reviewed 10 players who played prior to 1950, while the Golden Days Committee chose from 10 who played between 1950 - 69. Each committee member could vote for up to 4 candidates. To make it into the Hall a nominee needed to get at least 75% of the votes (12).
Buck O'Neil, Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Miñoso and Tony Oliva will be enshrined among the greats this July.
Buck was the ultimate "ambassador of the game". He was a great player in the Negro Leagues, but his impact extended well beyond the field. He was part of the 1942 KC Monarchs who beat the Homestead Grays in Negro Leagues World Series. They had won the pennant 4 years in a row and finally won the championship in '42. He served in the Navy during WWII and became a scout for MLB and the first Black coach in MLB. Buck was responsible for the careers of Ernie Banks and Lou Brock among others. He was also the man who created the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. He knew the history was too important to be forgotten.
Minnie was a larger than life personality. He sparkled on and off the field. He came to the US, from very humble beginnings in Cuba, to play for the NY Cubans in the Negro Leagues. He was signed by the Cleveland Indians and was the first Black man to play for the Chicago White Sox. He was a 9x All Star, had a career batting avg. of .299 and played in MLB in 5 decades. He worked for the White Sox up until his death in 2015. Our favorite Minnie story is when Director Lauren Meyer met him at a Pop Lloyd Conference in Atlantic City and he invited her to join him and a few friends to head out to go dancing. Minnie was the life of the party. We interviewed him for the film in Chicago a few months later. He was very humble and gracious and proudly showed Lauren around the White Sox stadium with the highlight being his statue. Here's a video of Minnie thanking Lauren for making The Other Boys of Summer.