Ron Santo was announced as having been selected to the Hall of Fame by the Golden Era Committee on Monday, which was a nice, though sadly hollow victory for objectively elite performance being properly rewarded.
Minnie Minoso on the other hand, fell three votes short of the necessary 75% barrier, and will have his candidacy deferred until the next Golden Era Committee vote in 2014. Predictably, Jerry Reinsdorf is devastated after launching an extensive campaign to promote his candidacy.
A great deal of the concern lies in whether this decision dooms Minoso to the same fate as Santo, where he's not around to enjoy the ultimate honor of his career, should it ever be bestowed. The next vote will see Minoso enter into his 90's, and despite seeming to be in good health and fantastic spirits, there's nothing guaranteed.
It's all pretty stupidly depressing.
Clearly the White Sox wasted their time convincing me, but sitting through two hours of Minoso's Hall of Fame candidacy forum and hearing his contemporaries express their love and gratitude for his presence and influence, was a pretty convincing demonstration of his role as a pioneer of the sport; both for his countrymen and black latinos of different nationalities.
It would seem simple enough to just conclude that no renewed acknowledgement of Minoso's role as a trailblazing figure emerged to lift up his fringy statistical profile. It'd be hard to accept, but would reflect a goal that could be accomplished with time and increased awareness.
Reinsdorf suspects otherwise:
"I wonder if this business of coming back in different decades hurt him in some way. I don't know. Obviously, I'm going to try to talk to people on the committee and find out what went wrong."
If it's true that Minoso's goofy promotional events later in his career lowered him in the esteem of Hall voters, it would be not only be another example of the baseball world ascribing irrelevant personal factors to what should be relatively impartial assessments, but also draw a sad parallel to the Ron Santo ordeal.
Minoso's legacy is a rich one. It also has a quirk that should be awesome at best and innocuous at worst. Alas, it can apparently be twisted into some kind of shaming device.
If I'm reading it right, McGrath is essentially punishing Minoso for liking baseball. This'll teach him.
Because the only candidate elected by the committee was Ron Santo, the cynical view is that a baseball-wide pang of guilt over his death sparked an outpouring of support that countless promotional campaigns couldn't trigger.
Rob Neyer expresses optimism that Minoso now becomes the most compelling Golden Era candidate in the absence of Santo, but his exploration of the cases of Blyleven, Santo, and Raines reveal the circumstantial reasons and often random nature by which fringe candidates for the Hall of Fame--a group which Minoso has clearly fallen in with at this point--find themselves without support or the candidate du jour.
With Minoso's long-championed case on the outside again, we can only hope nothing horrible forces it into the limelight.