In a 1993 interview Minnie Miñoso, with bat in hand, stands outside what was then called Comiskey Park II. He strides over to the parking lot, where an unassuming block of marble sits embedded in the asphalt. His voice, at 68 years old, is strong. He looks at the stone and reads, "That's Comiskey Park, 1910-1990," with an accent reminiscent of Al Pacino's in Scarface. He takes a few swings. Pointing into what was once left-center field, he traces the arc of his first White Sox home run, which he hit during his first at-bat with the team.
After a pause, he says, "I think I gave my life to the game. And I think the game gave me everything I am."
Truer words are rarely spoken. Saturino Orestes Armas Miñoso Arrieta had a long name and left an even longer legacy, as the only ballplayer to appear professionally in seven decades: 1948-2003. Granted, many of those later appearances were publicity stunts, but they showcased his lifelong dedication and love of baseball in a career that included nine All-Star appearances and three Gold Gloves.
As an artist, I enjoy the challenge of capturing these great personalities. Players like Minnie Miñoso never fail to bring a smile to my face, and remind me of the long history of the game. Miñoso isn't yet in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but he's at least memorialized here, in ink and paper.
If you're interested in seeing more of Mitch's work, or if you'd like to purchase original drawings or prints, contact him via Twitter (@soxsketcher), Instagram (@southsidesharpie), or by e-mail at email@example.com. Thanks for supporting local artists!