Baseball lost one of its more accomplished players Sunday as Chicago White Sox legend Minnie Minoso died Sunday due to natural causes at the age of 90 years old. Minoso, a Cuban import, made his Major-League debut in 1949 with the Cleveland Indians — two years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.
In 1951, Minoso was part of a three-team traded that resulted in him being sent to the White Sox. Minoso became the first black player in the Majors to play a game in Chicago on May 1, 1951 and he added to the historic feat by hitting a home run in his first at-bat.
Minoso played 17 seasons in the Majors, including 12 with the White Sox. Appearing in over 1,800 games, he hit .298/.389/.459, was a nine-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove Award winner. He led the Majors in triples during the 1951, 1954 and 1956 seasons, and stolen bases in 1951, 1952 and 1953.
Minoso’s death comes just over two months after fellow Chicago sports legend Ernie Banks passed away on Jan. 23. Yasiel Puig thanked Minoso Monday for his influence on Cuban players with this thoughtful post on Instagram: