11/01/11 1:00 PM ET
Minnie Minoso quotes
By / MLB.com
After receiving a take sign from a coach: "Oh I see 'take sign.' I think you mean take swing."
After using the station wagon that Sox relievers used to enter games from the bullpen: "24,000 miles! I be a son-of-a-gun, you no good White Sox pitchers."
On where he acquired his great speed: "I learn to run fast stealing chickens."
After being told to stay at third on a short fly ball: "Too late, me go."
"When I die, I want to be playing baseball. Truly. They don't bury me without my uniform."
"I have baseball in my blood. Baseball is all I've ever wanted to do."
On using a Cuban green bat: "If it broke, you tape it, put it in the bathtub and it get all right again."
On showing up to spring training late: "I never was a holdout. I was just resting a short time after the winter leagues."
"I don't keep track of things. I think of baseball."
"Baseball is my whole life. Without it, I am nothing at all."
"My last dream is to be in Cooperstown -- to be with those guys. I want to be there. This is my life's dream."
Quotes about Minnie Minoso:
Orlando Cepeda: "Orestes Minoso was the Jackie Robinson for all Latinos; the first star who opened doors for all Latin American players. He was everybody's hero. I wanted to be Minoso. Clemente wanted to be Minoso."
Bill Surface: "It really doesn't matter, though, if Minoso is 38 or 48. He plays ball like he hasn't had a birthday in 10 years and at the age most athletes have retired, Minnie is the highest paid player on his team and the only player in the American League durable enough to appear in every game."
Hal Lebovitz, on Minoso's trade to Cleveland: "Perhaps no player in recent years has received a greater compliment -- or has been shouldered with a greater burden -- than this sturdy, heavily muscled 5-foot, 11-inch bundle of vitality, humor and shatteringly bright personality."
Frank Lane, former general manager: "I felt Minnie was the one player in the American League who had that intangible quality of excitement that makes fans talk about him when they leave the park."
Furman Bisher: "As much a part of Minoso as his ability to run and hit and throw is his electrifying appeal. As soon as he gets on base, which is often, a sort of restless hum sweeps across the stands.
World Baseball Hall of Fame: "As a pioneering black Cuban star, Minoso was one of the earliest players of his race to appear in American League action; the flashy outfielder also paved the way for hundreds of dark-skinned Caribbean and Latin ballplayers who [followed] him to the big leagues."
J.G. Taylor Spink: "Be his name Minoso or Arrieta, this recital is not meant to set down only the exploits of the hard-hitting, fleet outfielder who is a flashing, neon-like advertisement for the pennant-minded Chicago White Sox and Ted Williams' nominee as the individual who could become the greatest player of modern times. It rather is the story of the poor little Cuban Negro boy who came along fortunately at a time when racial barriers had been broken and by intensity of purpose fought his way into the big leagues."
Robert Heuer: "Minnie Minoso blazed a trail that led to all the way to the Hall of Fame for players like Roberto Clemente, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Rod Carew and Tony Perez. By the late 1950s, Minoso was a national idol and, as Perez told the Cooperstown gathering, his personal inspiration for success."
Jerome Holtzman: "Minnie's a pioneer. Just like Jackie Robinson."
Unknown: "Minnie Minoso played the game the way it's supposed to be played. He did not have the power of a Mantle or the overall talent of a Mays, but he sprayed hits to all fields, never swung at a bad pitch, crowded the plate, bunted, stole bases, broke up double plays, made diving catches and always hit the cut-off man. He loved to play baseball, was in every minute of every game he played and never let up, no matter how one-sided the score. He was what baseball is all about."
Omar Minaya: "When we talk about Major League baseball players, when we talk about the game that we're seeing today, think about Albert Pujols. When we talk about these great ones, Mr. Minnie Minoso was one of the ones that paved the way for Latin players, to not only be recruited, but you're talking about an All-Star."
Tony Perez: "Every young player in Cuba wanted to be like Minnie Minoso and I was one of them. The way he played the game, hard all the time, hard. He was very consistent playing the game. He tried to win every game. And if you want to be like somebody, and I picked Minnie, you have to be consistent."
Perez: "He was the biggest name in Cuba as a player. We followed him. Every young player over there wanted to be like Minnie Minoso. Myself, especially myself, because I came from a sugar company in Cuba like Minnie did. Minnie was a tremendous player and I hope pretty soon we get him in Cooperstown. I hope when his name comes up next time, he gets in."
Bernie Williams: "When I was a kid growing up, I had two uncles who played baseball. One of them played professional baseball. Everybody in my family knew about the great feats of Minnie Minoso. When they were talking about the great players in my household, I said 'Oh yeah, Minnie Minoso.' Even though I never saw him play, I saw him in the eyes of my family."
Felipe Alou: "I believe he is a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame person. He played the game hard in Cuba, played the game hard in the Caribbean Series in Winter ball and played hard in the big leagues."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.