I only saw Minnie Minoso play once and it was through the fuzziness of a black and white, pre-cable television in Oct. of 1980. That, of course, was when Minnie played in his record fifth decade as a member of Bill Veeck’s White Sox.
Most of my knowledge of Minnie as the “Cuban Comet” has come through books, websites and grainy newsreel footage.
Why, then, did I feel such as sense of loss and emotion upon hearing of his death on Sunday (March 1, 2015).
I was grieving more over the loss of Minnie the ambassador, his presence and the lover of baseball than I was over the loss of a great player.
Minnie made everyone he touched feel good about baseball, the White Sox and U.S. Cellular Field.
The last time I saw him, I was zipping through the lobby at the Cell. As always, I shook his hand and said, “Next stop, Coooperstown.”
As with the first time I met him, he looked at me and said, “Hello, my friend.”
Our friend. Always and forever.