Minnie Miñoso and Tony Oliva have finally been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, becoming the 5th and 6th Cuban players to earn that honor.
Cuban pride: Minnie Miñoso and Tony Oliva will enter the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown
Cuban baseball players Orestes Miñoso and Tony Oliva, former Major League stars, were elected by the Veterans Committee into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown on Sunday.
Both sons of the Greater Antilles, they won the honor from the Committee of the Golden Days along with Jim Kaat, and Gil Hodges. At the same time, the Committee for Early Baseball voted for immortality for Bud Fowler and Buck O’Neil, according to the MLB Network.
The Matanzas native Saturnio Orestes Armas Miñoso Arrieta, who died in 2015, was known as Orestes Miñoso, or Minnie Miñoso, and was the first Hispanic superstar and first Hispanic black to break the color barrier. He played with the Chicago White Sox, the Cleveland Indians, and the St. Louis Cardinals with batting averages of .299/.387/.464 respectively. He was named to the All Stars nine times and had 1,225 career RBIs.
Meanwhile Pinar del Rio native Tony Pedro Oliva, who is 83, played with the Minnesota Twins throughout his career in the Major Leagues where he led the American League in hits five times, two-base hits four times, and won three batting titles. He was also the Rookie of the Year in 1964.
“To receive that call . . . you all know I’m 83,” said Oliva in an MLB Network interview after receiving the news. “I’m alive and to be able to greet the people and say thank you, that means very much to me,” he said.
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