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Column: Minnie Miñoso’s long and complicated journey to the Baseball Hall of Fame ends with his day in the sun

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Column: Minnie Miñoso’s Long And Complicated Journey To The Baseball Hall Of Fame Ends With His Day In The Sun

Minnie Miñoso’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday culminates a long and complicated journey to Cooperstown, N.Y., that few imagined would end this way.

The former Chicago White Sox legend — who will join David Ortiz, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, Buck O’Neil, Gil Hodges and Bud Fowler in the 2022 class — repeatedly was deemed unworthy from his original retirement in 1964 to his death at 90 in 2015.

Miñoso was an afterthought in the minds of the Baseball Writers Association of America, which originally kept him out of the Hall during his years of eligibility. Early veterans committees shot him down as a viable candidate, as did a revamped veterans committee in 2003 consisting of Hall of Famers and those who had earned plaques in Cooperstown through broadcasting or writing about the game. (The Hall disbanded the 15-member veterans panel after Bill Mazeroski’s election in 2001, feeling it was too political.)

But Miñoso, known as the “Cuban Comet,” still fared poorly with his peers, finishing with only 16 votes by the 85-man committee, which was tied for 10th place and well below the 61 votes necessary for election. His candidacy barely even registered with the Chicago media, who focused on the Hall of Fame quest of former Cubs third baseman Ron Santo, who fell 15 votes shy in 2003.

When MLB created the Committee on African-American Baseball in 2006 to elect Negro Leagues greats who had been overlooked, Miñoso felt he had a realistic chance. But his three-year stint in the Negro Leagues was considered too brief, even combined with his major-league career, so Miñoso was not one of the 18 Black players elected.

By 2011, he seemed resigned to his fate.

“I’ve kept it inside me,” Miñoso told the Tribune that April at U.S. Cellular Field. “It will go with me when I die. … I’m mad because it seems a lot of people ignore a lot of things I do in baseball.”

But in the fall, Miñoso again found himself listed on the 10-person ballot for consideration by the Hall’s Golden Era Committee that replaced the veterans committee. During discussions for all the candidates by the 16-member group, supporters pointed to his late-arriving entry into the major leagues and the bias he faced during his career as a Black Latino from Cuba.

Miñoso was again denied, receiving nine of 16 votes. Santo, who died the previous December, finally got in. Hall of Famer Juan Marichal, a member of the committee, said Miñoso was “responsible for so many careers of the (Latino) players that came behind him, including myself,” suggesting his status as a pioneer for Latino players had been overlooked. Tribune baseball writer Phil Rogers called it “the Hall’s most shameful exclusion.”

Miñoso’s final heartbreak came in 2014, when he earned only eight of the 12 votes needed by a 15-member committee, which wound up electing no one.

“I don’t know what player, out of the era of the ‘50s and ‘60s, would be more deserving than Minnie,” Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said after the announcement.

Miñoso died the next year. After the 2020 Golden Era ballot was postponed a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Miñoso gained six votes on the 2021 ballot, finishing with 14 votes from the 16-member committee that included former Commissioner Bud Selig, an influential supporter.

They say life is all about timing, and Miñoso’s time finally arrived. It was too late for him to revel in the celebration, but at least he made it. Though baseball writers and voting Hall of Fame players let him down, in the end Miñoso was aided by MLB’s reckoning with it shameful, racist past, which led to the Negro Leagues officially being recognized as a major league in 2020.

The addition of Miñoso’s Negro League stats pushed him over the 2,000-hit mark (2,113), while his career OPS of .848 was ahead of Hall of Fame outfielders including Reggie Jackson (.846), Carl Yastrzemski (.842) and Kirby Puckett (.837). No one handed it to Miñoso. He earned his way in.

The curious thing about the Baseball Hall of Fame is hardly anyone remembers the struggles many members had in getting there. Once they are in, they are all part of the same select group of baseball elites, and their plaques don’t note the years of heartache and waiting.

Miñoso’s love for the game ultimately might have worked against him. He never wanted to stop hitting. To some, his name was synonymous with legendary stuntman Bill Veeck, the maverick Sox owner who brought him out of retirement to play in 1976 and then again in 1980 to tie a record of playing in five decades.

Veeck was long gone by 1990 when Reinsdorf was willing to give Miñoso an at-bat during the final days of old Comiskey Park, which would have made it six decades instead of five.

“I promised him this years ago,” Reinsdorf told Tribune baseball writer Jerome Holtzman before the 1990 season. “We have to be sure this isn’t a farce. I haven’t thought the whole thing through, but we don’t want him to embarrass himself or baseball.”

By summer the Sox were in a heated race with the Oakland A’s in the American League West. The idea of giving a 67-year-old Miñoso an at-bat down the stretch was debated, and Miñoso was told he might have to pass a medical exam.

“That medical talk is bull,” he said. “‘I can play. I feel every day is my birthday. Each day I feel I’m reborn. I’d be honored to play.”

But Commissioner Fay Vincent put a halt to the plan, citing “the best interests of the game.” Many sprung to Miñoso’s defense.

“We know we can’t live forever, we know our heroes can’t be heroic forever, but the dream makes the reality endurable,” Tribune columnist Bernie Lincicome wrote. “Baseball ought to indulge dreams. That’s why it exists.”

On a side note, MLB in 2012 allowed former Cubs player Adam Greenberg to sign a one-day contract with the Miami Marlins as a publicity stunt, seven years after his only career at-bat ended with him getting beaned on the first pitch he saw. No one seemed to mind the stunt, which went off as planned.

The owners eventually fired Vincent, and in September 1993 the Sox again announced a 70-year-old Miñoso would play an inning and lead off against the Seattle Mariners. But the Sox were on their way to the playoffs, and ace Jack McDowell led a players revolt, which forced general manager Ron Schueler to cancel the plan, citing “several players (who) have voiced their displeasure.”

“The team has other things to focus on that are far more important,” Schueler said. “After talking with Minnie, we have decided that he will not play.”

Miñoso understood. He wanted only to make fans happy and, of course, he loved to hit.

Before a 1991 old-timers game at Wrigley Field, after Miñoso finished smoking line drives in the batting cage, I asked him if he ever would give up hitting.

“It’s my life,” he replied.

It was a life well lived.

And on Sunday, after nearly six decades of being rejected, Miñoso finally gets his day in the sun.




US to increase supply of monkeypox vaccines

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Us To Increase Supply Of Monkeypox Vaccines

The White House announced Thursday that it will make an additional 1.8 million doses of monkeypox vaccine available for distribution starting next week.

At a press conference, White House national monkeypox response coordinator Bob Fenton said the additional doses will be available to US jurisdictions starting Monday, through the Department of Health. and Human Services (HHS).

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra also took part in the press conference.

Fenton said that in less than 10 days since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and CDC cleared the Jynneos vaccine for emergency use against monkeypox in people 18 and older, the HHS has delivered nearly one million doses to US states and cities, making it the largest such monkeypox vaccine program in the world.

Fenton said the additional doses are part of the National Monkeypox Response Team’s plan to control the outbreak of the viral illness in the United States and mitigate its spread.

He said HHS is working to launch a pilot program that will provide up to 50,000 doses from the national stockpile to be made available for events that will have a high attendance of gay and bisexual men.

Although monkeypox is not classified as a sexually transmitted infection or STI, it has been found to disproportionately affect men who have sex with men. The disease can be spread through close or intimate physical contact, such as hugging, kissing, and sex. It can also be transmitted by touching infected objects such as clothing, bedding or towels.

Fenton said the Biden administration has also dramatically increased the availability and convenience of monkeypox testing, increasing capacity from 6,000 tests per week to 80,000 tests per week.

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.

USA voanews

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Starbucks must reinstate fired workers, federal judge rules

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Starbucks Must Reinstate Fired Workers, Federal Judge Rules

A federal judge is ordering Starbucks to reinstate seven employees in Memphis who were fired earlier this year after leading an effort to unionize their store.

In a decision issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Sheryl Lipman agreed with the National Labor Relations Board, which had asked the court to intervene in May.

Lipman’s decision requires Starbucks to offer to reinstate the employees within five days. Starbucks will also be required to post the court order in the Memphis store.

The case has been among the most closely watched in the unionization effort at Starbucks, which began late last year. Since then, more than 220 U.S. Starbucks stores — including the Memphis store — have voted to unionize. Starbucks opposes the unionization effort.

Starbucks fired the seven employees in early February, citing safety. The Seattle coffee giant said the employees violated company policy by reopening a store after closing time and inviting non-employees — including a television crew — to come inside and move throughout the store.

The NLRB had begun administrative proceedings against Starbucks, saying the company was unlawfully interfering in workers’ right to organize. But those proceedings can take so long that the NLRB asked the federal court for an immediate injunction requiring Starbucks to reinstate the workers.

“Today’s federal court decision ordering Starbucks to reinstate the seven unlawfully fired Starbucks workers in Memphis is a crucial step in ensuring that these workers, and all Starbucks workers, can freely exercise their right to join together to improve their working conditions and form a union,” the labor board’s General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo said in a statement. “Starbucks, and other employers, should take note that the NLRB will continue to vigorously protect workers’ right to organize without interference from their employer.”

A message seeking comment from Starbucks was left by The Associated Press.

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Brazilian Bolsonaro catches heckler and tries to pick up the phone

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Brazilian Bolsonaro Catches Heckler And Tries To Pick Up The Phone


SAO PAULO — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro briefly tackled a heckler and tried to snatch his phone on Thursday, highlighting possible challenges for the sometimes short-tempered leader to stay disciplined during the election campaign.

As Bolsonaro addressed supporters outside his residence in the capital Brasilia, social media influencer Wilker Leão used his phone to film himself repeatedly shouting at the president, calling him a “coward”, a “tramp” and “darling” of a hog- barrel faction in Congress.

Bolsonaro first got into his car, but then reappeared and grabbed the man’s shirt and forearm as he reached for his phone. The security guards took Leão away.

The presidential campaign that began on Tuesday is expected to be an uphill battle for Bolsonaro, who trails former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in all polls ahead of the Oct. 2 first-round vote.

A reporter from the G1 news site posted a video of Leão’s comments and the ensuing altercation.

“Don’t film this, don’t film this,” Bolsonaro told supporters as Leão was detained by presidential security. “It’s his right (to protest), but he was rude.”

Four minutes later, security allowed Leão to return to the scene and chat with Bolsonaro about politics. The two have spoken to each other several times before, without incident.

“You can talk to me as much as you want,” Bolsonaro told Leão. The two talked for five minutes until the president decided to return to his car and leave.

Bolsonaro has had previous confrontations, often with the press. In 2020, he told a reporter, “I want to punch you in the mouth” and once suggested he would like to shoot rival Workers’ Party supporters.


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Orioles closer Félix Bautista is embracing Michael K. Williams’ Omar whistle. Now he has his own T-shirt.

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Ravens Q&Amp;A: Olb Daelin Hayes On Learning From A Frustrating Rookie Season, Reuniting With Kyle Hamilton, The Importance Of Community Service And More

Félix Bautista doesn’t really understand the reference. He’s never seen “The Wire” on HBO. But the Orioles closer still wore the T-shirt with his own face photoshopped where the face of Omar Little should be.

The Orioles love their T-shirts, and the latest addition was seen Thursday in the clubhouse with most of Bautista’s teammates wearing a shirt that reads “Félix Comin’,” referencing the phrase used in the show to signal that Little, the beloved stickup man played by the late Michael K. Williams, was on his way to the neighborhood.

The connection took off earlier this month when the Orioles began to play the iconic whistling of “The Farmer in the Dell” from Little on “The Wire” before Bautista entered for a save situation. The stadium lights flashed at Camden Yards, too.

“It feels great,” Bautista said through team interpreter Brandon Quinones. “It’s super enjoyable, super exciting. When I come in, there’s a lot of adrenaline.”

“The Wire” is set in Baltimore and was created by former Baltimore Sun reporter David Simon, and the whistling, a distinctly Baltimore tune, has been used before by the Ravens. Last year, less than two weeks after Williams died of an accidental drug overdose at 54, the Ravens played the whistling before kickoff against the Kansas City Chiefs on “Sunday Night Football” in September.

It’s not the first unique T-shirt to appear in the Orioles’ clubhouse. Earlier this month, they unveiled a “Robbie’s Playlist” shirt that featured all of catcher Robinson Chirinos’ favorite sayings. Several of the starting pitchers, including Tyler Wells, wore “Best dad ever” shirts with Jordan Lyles’ face on it for Father’s Day.

“It’s a light environment,” right-hander Joey Krehbiel said. “There’s no eggshells to be walking on. There’s guys with a lot of big league time. There’s guys that have five days of service time and everyone gets treated the same and we’re a winning environment, and we’re trying to keep that on the shirts, just any little thing like that helps.”

“Félix Comin’” is the latest addition, and fans can purchase it from BreakingT.


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Fed’s Bullard leans toward 0.75 percentage point rate hike in September

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Fed'S Bullard Leans Toward 0.75 Percentage Point Rate Hike In September

St. Louis Federal Reserve Chairman James Bullard said on Thursday he plans to back another big rate hike at the central bank’s policy meeting next month and added that he was not not ready to say that the economy had seen the worst of the inflation surge.

“We should continue to move quickly to a policy rate level that will put significant downward pressure on inflation” and “I don’t really see why you want to extend interest rate hikes into next year”, Mr. Bullard said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.


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Robert Saleh says Jets will ‘do right’ by Zach Wilson in terms of his return to action

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Robert Saleh Says Jets Will ‘Do Right’ By Zach Wilson In Terms Of His Return To Action

On Tuesday afternoon, the Jets received good news as quarterback Zach Wilson’s knee surgery was considered a success.

Now Gang Green plays the waiting game.

The timeline for Wilson’s return from the meniscus tear he suffered in last Friday’s preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles has been listed as anywhere from two to four weeks. What complicates Wilson’s recovery is he is also dealing with a bone bruise. Jets coach Robert Saleh didn’t show his hand when asked if Wilson or backup Joe Flacco would start against the Baltimore Ravens at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 11.

“If Zach is ready to go, he’s going be the Week 1 starter,” Saleh said Thursday of his second-year QB. “If he’s not, then Joe will. We are going to take it by how Zach looks, how he feels, how he moves and what the doctors tell us.

“Whenever that moment is, that’s when he will step on the field.”

Wilson flew back from Los Angeles where he had the surgery Tuesday. He was at the Jets facility on Thursday and was already walking around the facility as the team said he was in good spirits.

While Wilson is recovering, Flacco has taken over the first-team snaps in practice. Flacco, 37, who did not play against the Eagles during the first preseason game, is expected to start in the final two warm-up games against the Atlanta Falcons and Giants.

Whoever starts against the Ravens to kick off the ‘22 campaign, Saleh said the Jets are confident in both of their abilities under center.

“It is really going to be dictated on how he feels and when he’s ready to go,” Saleh said about Wilson. “We are going to make sure we do right by him in terms of making sure he’s 100% healthy. Whenever that is, that’s when he will hit the field.”


The Jets will host the Falcons in a couple of joint practices on Friday and Saturday morning before their preseason game Monday night.

Coaches around the league typically schedule joint practices because it allows them to evaluate players against different opponents. Some players like them because they not only don’t have to see the same faces they’ve seen the last three weeks, but they can hit guys who aren’t teammates.

Jets offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur says he has done the joint practices about every year he’s been a coach and each one is different from the last.

“It will be good for us as they run a bit more Cover 2 than we do,” LaFleur said about practicing against the Falcons. “You have to put in the time to make sure you’re giving your guys a chance.

“The last two games, there’s been a lot of game planning, practice planning. I want to see our guys play fast and be the best that they can be.”


Because of the joint practices this weekend, the Jets didn’t have pads on Thursday morning. While it was a lighter morning, there was an unlikely player who stood out during 11-on-11 drills.

Converted tight end Lawrence Cager caught four passes from quarterbacks Mike White and Chris Streveler. Cager might be a long shot at making the final 53-man roster, but he has played well this summer, including the last preseason game.

According to Pro Football Focus, Cager was the highest-rated Jets player with a grade of 92.7 in the exhibition opener. Cager, who played collegiately at Miami and Georgia, was a receiver during his first two years in the NFL with the Jets and Cleveland Browns. However, the Jets brought Cager back into the mix in January and converted him to tight end.

Saleh says Cager’s transition to a new position has been very good to this point.

“He has a completely different mindset than he had a year ago,” Saleh said.

“I really like where he’s at. Obviously, he has a long way to go in terms of the route game and what we are asking from that position, but I love his attitude, I love his [physicality] and I’m just really excited about where he will take us.”


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