Tony Oliva, Orestes ‘Minnie’ Miñoso finally get Hall of Fame vote they deserved

Luckily, Tony Oliva lives to see this day.

Oliva, the 83-year-old previous Minnesota Twins All-Star, on Sunday signed up with 5 others – fellow Cuban Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso, previous Twins colleague Jim Kaat, Gil Hodges, Dollar O’Neil and Bud Fowler – as the most recent gamers to be chosen into the National Baseball Hall of Popularity.

Oliva, Miñoso, Kaat and Hodges were picked by the Golden Days committee. O’Neil and Fowler were chosen by the Early Days committee.

Amongst the brand-new conscripts, just Oliva and Kaat are still with us.

DOLLAR O’NEIL IS FINALLY IN HALL OF POPULARITY: That it took so long is another stain on baseball.

Miñoso, for instance, passed away in 2015, 3 months after he and Oliva each stopped working to be chosen by the Golden age committee. Sunday’s vote was the very first time Oliva, an eight-time All-Star and three-time American League batting champ; and Miñoso, the very first Black Latino All-Star in the majors, were thought about because that 2014 vote.

Tony Oliva had a career .304 batting average in 15 seasons with the Minnesota Twins.

Tony Oliva had a profession .304 batting average in 15 seasons with the Minnesota Twins.

“We were just waiting to hear the call; it meant so much to finally receive it,” Charlie Rice-Miñoso informed U.S.A. TODAY Sports about discovering Sunday night that his dad had actually been chosen. “Immediately after, I called my brother and my sister. We were all just so grateful that his contributions are being recognized in such a way.

“… Bittersweet is actually the very best method to explain it thinking about that the last time he was up, we were simply a couple of months prior to he had actually passed. We definitely want he were here to enjoy it, however we’re still simply thankful that his contributions and his tradition resides on.”

Cameras captured the moment Oliva received his call at home as he was surrounded by cheering family and friends.

“I understood eventually I was going to remain in the Hall of Popularity,” Oliva said, “however I wished to enter while I live and after that have the ability to speak with you individuals and thank everyone.”

In 2014, Oliva missed being elected by one vote, while Miñoso was four votes shy of the 12 needed to reach 75% of the 16-member Golden Era committee ballots. Both received 12 votes on Sunday.

“It was a terrific day for Latinos,” said University of Illinois history professor Adrian Burgos, Jr., one of the 16 members of this year’s Golden Days committee. “I’m extremely delighted that they remain in the exact same class which Tony can enter understanding that a person of his compadres, among his compatriots … among the people who led the way exists ideal along with him. It’s regrettable that Minnie doesn’t get to be on that phase to share the happiness.”

What changed between the 2014 ballot and Sunday’s vote?

“I think the make-up of the committee changed quite dramatically,” said Burgos, who was not on the committee in 2014.

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Only four members of the 2014 committee were on this year’s committee.

“So, with fresh eyes and fresh minds, we thought about the cases,” Burgos said. “I believe that getting 4 individuals chosen out of this procedure demonstrates how this was such a crammed tally. Individuals require to comprehend that it’s not a directly and down vote on each of these people. There are cases where I’m sure everybody had a hard time at ‘how do I limit this to four individuals?’ However that’s our required. We can just elect 4.”

Before being considered by the veterans committee, Oliva spent 15 years (1982-96) on the Baseball Writers’ Association of American ballot. Despite a .304 career average, Oliva never got more than the 47.3% of the vote he received in 1988.

Orestes "Minnie" Miñoso Miñoso batted .299 with 2,110 hits, 195 home runs, 1,093 RBI and 216 stolen bases and had 13 All-Star Game appearances in 20 major-league seasons.

Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso Miñoso batted .299 with 2,110 hits, 195 home runs, 1,093 RBI and 216 stolen bases and had 13 All-Star Game appearances in 20 major-league seasons.

Miñoso’s 15 years on the BBWAA ballot – with a high of 21.1% in 1988 – were spread over parts of four decades beginning in 1969 and ending in 1999 because after retiring in 1964, he came back to play some games in 1976 and 1980.

“His looks in ’76 and 1980 definitely had an effect due to the fact that it kept resetting his clock for factor to consider,” Burgos said. “So eventually, the in 2015 he was under factor to consider was 1999. That was 35 years after his last MLB season in real kind and not in ‘return’ kind. There were few people who had in fact seen him carry out taking part in those votes.”

Too often, it seems, players such as Miñoso have been honored posthumously when they could have been enshrined during their lifetimes.

Remember Chicago Cubs star third baseman Ron Santo? Died in 2010. Elected by the Golden Era Committee in 2011. Former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Dick Allen, who died in 2020, fell one vote shy in 2014 and on Sunday.

“Take a look at what occurred with Minnie; that’s a disrespect,” Cuban former pitcher Luis Tiant told USA TODAY Sports in September. “What they did to Ron Santo. He lost both legs. Why didn’t they put him in? They waited up until after he passed away? That’s a disrespect. That’s ruthless.”

Tiant, who won 229 games with a 3.30 ERA, was on the 2014 ballot, earning “3 or less” votes and was not on the ballot Sunday.

“I have actually informed my kids, ‘do not stress, do not get psychological that you do not see my name,’ ” Tiant said in September. “The day they wish to put me in, put me in. Ideally, I will not be dead.”

Oliva, who was a teammate of Tiant with the Twins in 1970, told Our Esquina: “Luis Tiant belongs in the Hall of Popularity. …He has the numbers to be in the Hall of Popularity. No concern.”

Said Burgos: “I believe he will absolutely get another appearance. I believe having 2 of his contemporaries eventually have the ability to pass that limit and get in, his story acquires more focus now.”

This short article initially appeared on U.S.A. TODAY: Tony Oliva, Minnie Miñoso lastly get Hall of Popularity vote they should have

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.