Why he belongs:
7 All-Star Games – Other players with 7 All-Star Games:
(All Hall-of-Famers or on their way)
Finished in the MVP ballot 8 times, all in the same decade.
3 Gold Gloves
Finished in the top 10 in Batting Average 8 times, highest finish was 2nd.
Finished in the top 10 in On-Base% 9 times, highest finish was 2nd.
Finished in the top 10 in Slugging % 6 times, highest finish was 2nd.
Finished in the top 10 in Games 6 times, led AL in 1960.
Finished in the top 10 in At Bats 8 times, highest finish was 6th.
Finished in the top 10 in Runs 9 times, highest finish was 2nd.
Finished in the top 10 in Hits 8 times, led AL in 1960.
Finished in the top 10 in Doubles 8 times, led AL in 1957.
Finished in the top 10 in Triples 6 times, led AL 3 times in ’51, ’54 & ‘56.
Finished in the top 10 in RBI’s 5 times, highest finish was 2nd.
Finished in the top 10 in Stolen Bases 9 times, led AL 3 times in ’51, ’52 & ‘53.
There are certain other factors to include. Minoso had his number retired with the Chicago White Sox. Here are some other names that stand out there: Nellie Fox, Luke Appling, Luis Aparicio, Ted Lyons, Carlton Fisk and Frank Thomas. Also, he was the first black player to wear a White Sox uniform.
Why he doesn’t:
Minoso had 10 great years. Is 10 years enough? If I’m looking at the 50’s only, the guy is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. But were those ten years enough?
His career numbers aren’t that great. 1963 hits. That ties Jay Bell for #283 on the all-time list. 1136 runs seems like a lot until you realize that makes him #211. His 336 doubles tie him with Augie Galan for #303 on the all-time list. His 86 triples tie him for #256 (with HOFer Johnny Mize). His 186 home runs put him at #334 with Rich Aurilia & Glenallen Hill. At 1,023 RBI’s, he’s at #249, and probably will be out of the 250 by this season. 814 walks puts him at #237. And 205 steals puts him at #320 (tied with Zack Wheat). But in his defense, he was dominant for his time period.
Which of these numbers says Hall of Famers?
The Hall-of-Fame Monitor lists Hodges at 87. A Hall of Famer is 100 or higher.
Similar players according to baseball-refernce.com include Gary Matthews, Sr., Ken Griffey, Sr., and Amos Otis. There isn’t a single Hall-of-Famer in the 10 players compared with him (except for Tony Oliva who has a chance this year).
And probably the thing that looks worst for him is his former HOF voting. The year he reached his highest voting percentage was 1988, 21.1%. He came in 13th place that year. Willie Stargell was elected. Jim Bunning, Orlando Cepeda & Bill Mazeroski would eventually go on to election. Above him were 8 players NOT in the HOF currently. (Tony Oliva & Ken Boyer are on the ballot this year.)
All in all… Well, I surprised myself with this one. I expected to write this thinking that Minoso wasn’t really a Hall-of-Famer. I seemed to have talked myself into why he WAS a Hall-of-Famer. He had a very dominant career for 10 years. One question remains: Are 10 years enough?