Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Continuing a Spring Tradition: Voice of the Turtle

Every year prior to the Detroit Tigers first spring training game long time radio announcer would recite "the voice of the turtle."  The passage is from the Song of Solomon of the Old Testament. Here it is:

"For lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone;
the flowers appear on earth;
the time of singing of birds is come ,
and the voice of the turtle is heard  in our land"

Monday, March 2, 2015

In Memoriam: Minnie Minoso

1956 Topps
Before there was Yasiel Puig, David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez or even Juan Marichal and Roberto Clemente, there was Minnie Minoso.   Minoso is considered to be the first black Latino in MLB history when he debuted with the Cleveland Indians in 1948.

Minoso became a star when he was traded to the Chicago White Sox in 1951.  While playing for Chicago, the Cuban Comet made 9 All Star teams and won three Gold Gloves for his outfield play.  Minoso was a multidimensional player.  Not only he had speed and a good glove, Minoso was one of the few power threats for the White Sox in the 1950s.  He even led the league in hits by pitch ten times in his career.

Minoso initially finished his career in 1964 back with White Sox after short stays with the Cardinals and Senators.  His love for the game never waned after retirement, Minoso made a well publicized three game stint in 1976.  He went 3 for 8 in hitting, thus becoming the oldest player ever to hit safely at the age of 50.  Minoso made more two appearances in 1980 pitch hitting, which made him the only player to play in five different decades in MLB history.

Many believe Mr. White Sox should be in the Hall of Fame for his play and contributions to the game and the White Sox that went well beyond his playing career.  2014 American League Rookie of the Year and fellow Cuban Jose Abreu said Minoso helped him in his transition into the big leagues.  I am not sure if his appearances in 1976 and 1980 helped or hurt his case.  Some voters think of it as only publicity stunts, but frankly the Hall of Fame would not be looked at any less with Minnie Minoso included.