Native Cubans could move to the big leagues without dealing much in politics, secrecy and defection six decades ago. Cuban baseball talent was highly regarded and increasingly desirable. Not coincidentally, Minnie Minoso was at the forefront of the international game then. His baseball skills caught the eye. His distinctive name caught the ear. And his warm and engaging personality made him an uncommonly popular figure anywhere he played -- no, anywhere he went -- and helped forge a legacy that, to this day, prompts baseball folks to smile.
"Our organization and our city have suffered a heart-breaking loss today," said Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the White Sox. "We have lost our dear friend and a great man. Many tears are falling."
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.