Cuban Connection

Conrado “Connie” Marrero died this week at age 102. He was the oldest living former Major League player. Marrero was a Cuban pitcher for the Senators from 1950-54.  This reminded me of former White Sox Cuban player Minnie Minoso who is 88. I remember getting Minnie’s autograph in the early 60’s. Minnie was sitting at the kitchen table of a Little League teammate of mine — just around the corner from my house. Word circulated in the neighborhood that Minnie was at Ricky’s house and there was a line of kids in the driveway. Of course, Minnie would not leave until every kid had his autograph.

Minnie and Alexei Tank and Abreu

This year’s SoxFest included a session called “The Cuban Connection”, which featured ex-Sox Minnie Minoso (the “Cuban Comet”), and current White Sox players Alexei Ramirez (the “Cuban Missle”), Dayan Vicideo (the “Tank”), and Jose Abreu (too new for a nickname). The 2014 Sox also includes a fourth Cuban — catcher Adrian Nieto. Four active Cuban players may be the most ever?

There is a statue of Minnie at The Cell, and the Sox are giving away replica statues to the first 20,000 fans on Saturday. Minnie is 88 and is currently one of the 100 oldest former MLB players.

baseball-almanac.com maintains a list of the 100 Oldest Living Baseball Players. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/Oldest_Living_Baseball_Players.php
(You may need to copy-paste this link into your browser)

Here’s a picture I took of Minnie throwing out the first pitch in the 2011 opener.

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One Response to Cuban Connection

  1. dockahn@comcast.net says:

    Summer of 1956 (I was 5), my parents and I vacationed in Cuba not long before Castro overthrew the government (as depicted in The Godfather, Part 2).  The revolution began in 1953 although Battista wasn’t overthrown until 1959.  I don’t recall looking for Conrado Marrero.  But, eventually, I collected several Minnie Minoso baseball cards although he didn’t become really significant until a few years later when he was a guest at our YMCA little league baseball banquet.  So I’m going to see if I can find a picture or slide “in the vault” of a tall, good-natured Cuban gentleman standing next to a little white kid.   

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