Thursday, July 11, 2013

"LONG TIME NO SEE"- MINNIE MINOSO IN 1977

After being away from Major League baseball since 1964, Minnie Minoso, who by now was 50 years old and coming off of a few years playing down in Mexico, was brought back as a publicity stunt by one of baseball's great showmen, White Sox owner Bill Veeck and his son Mike.
He ended up appearing in three games, going 1 for 8 and becoming the fourth-oldest player to record a hit, while also becoming the only player to appear in the 1940's through the 1970's.
If THAT wasn't enough, four years later in 1980, "Mr. White Sox" entrenched himself in baseball history by becoming only the second player (Nick Altrock being the other) to appear in five different decades: '40's, 50's, '60's, '70's and '80's. Veeck, in another publicity stunt, had Minoso appear in two games, going 0-2 at the age of 54.
For his 1976 appearances, Topps commemorated the event by issuing a "Record Breaker" card in their 1977 set (#232) seen here (even though he WASN'T the oldest player to "hit safely"):


Now, what if Topps wanted to have a little fun and actually issue a regular player-card for Minoso? That would have been an interesting card to have, especially with stats dating back to the 1940's.
I went ahead and designed a "regular" card for Minoso, imagining what it could have looked like. Take a gander:

Could've been his first player card since 1964.

Something that would have been cool was the fact that Minoso could've had a 13 year gap between baseball card appearances as a player (1964-1977) if Topps created a regular card for him.
I can only really remember two players off the top of my head Vicente Romo (1975-1983) and Chuck Hartenstein (1970-1977) with similar long gaps between cards. (I'll be writing about the Hartenstein card in the near future).
Oh well, sadly it wasn't to be...
PS- It's easy to forget just how great a player Minoso was throughout the 1950's. A consistent .300 hitter with both power and speed, driving in over 100 runs four times while leading the A.L. in stolen bases and triples three times.
In addition to this, he finished in the top five in M.V.P. voting four times as well: 1951, 1953, 1954 and 1960.
It's a shame he didn't play his first full season in the big leagues until he was 25. He could have put up some great "power and speed" career stats by the time he was done. As it is, he finished his career with 186 homers and 205 steals. Not bad for only 11 full seasons under his belt!

3 comments:

  1. Dan Boone had a couple cards in 1982 and then none until 1991 Score.
    Great blog!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gio does Mr Minoso merit a 1976 Traded card to complete his card listing?

    ReplyDelete

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