Minnie Minoso paved the way for future Cuban baseball stars

Long before Yasiel Puig ran wild, Jose Abreu belted tape-measure homers, or teenage sensation Yoan Moncada landed a $30-plus million bonus, there was Minnie Minoso. The Cuban Comet broke baseball’s color barrier in Chicago, emerging as one of the signature stars of the 1950s with his gap-splitting bat and Gold Glove defense. He debuted in the majors at age 23 while Harry Truman occupied the White House, and tallied a base hit in his 50s during the Jimmy Carter administration. Minoso was seemingly ageless, and an inspiration to generations of Latin American players. While Minoso passed away on March 1, somewhere, he and Ernie Banks are playing two.