It is the birthday today, Nov. 29, 2012, of one of the best players not in the Hall Of Fame, long-time White sox star Orestes Saturnino "Minnie" Minoso - But which birthday is it? If you go by the date listed in the baseball cards, baseball magazines and Chicago White Sox Yearbooks of his playing days, then he was born in 1922 and today Minnie turns 90. Negro Leagues sources from his time with the New York Cubans (1945-48) agree with this date for the most part. Some other sources such as Red Man Tobacco cards issued during his playing days with the White sox, before his first retirement (1951-1957; 1960-61; 1964) make him a year younger, listing a 1923 birthdate, making him 89 today. Still others (including Wikipedia) now list him as being born in 1925,making Minnie only 87. Even if this last date were true then Minoso's major leagues breakthrough year with the White sox in 1951 didn't occur until the year he turned 26. (If the 1922 birthdate that was the popular belief during his playing days is actually the truth, then Minoso didn't get a chance to be an everyday player in the majors until the year he turned 29.) This late MLB debut was in large part due to the racial barriers delaying the start of Minoso's major leagues career, a factor tha has not been given enough weight by Hall Of Fame voters to this point.
An MLB Network televison program, that first aired in February or March 2012, that ranked the 40 best players not in the Hall Of Fame ranked Minnie 4th, and with the top three players on the list being newly-retired whose candidacy was still the domain of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA), that means that this program ranked Minoso as the #1 candidate amongst players whose candidacy was now under consideration by the Veterans Commiottee. As a Golden Era (1947-1972) player, Minnie's next shot at the Hall Of Fame will come two years from now with election results being announced at the Winter Meetings in December 2014 for the Hall Of Fame Class of 2015.