White Sox great Minnie Minoso passes away

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CHICAGO - Chicago White Sox legend Minnie Minoso has passed away at the age of 90.

Minoso was the first black Cuban player in Major League Baseball and the first black player for the White Sox.

He played 17 seasons in the majors, and was named an All-Star seven times, but he was denied entry into the Hall of Fame last year.

Minoso died at around 1:00 a.m. Sunday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner.

RELATED: Chicago White Sox statement on passing of Minnie Minoso

The Tribune reports Minoso was found unresponsive in the driver's seat of a car near a gas station in the 2800 block of North Ashland Avenue. There were no signs of trauma and Minoso was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy will be done today. His family thinks he died of a heart-related ailment. They say Minoso had a pacemaker.

Minoso was born in Cuba. He was nicknamed "The Cuban Comet" and "Mr. White Sox." He was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1948 and played for the Sox from 1951-57, ’60-61, ’64, and briefly as a player-coach in ’76 and ’80.

RELATED: Minnie Minoso will always be 'Mr. White Sox,' Obama says

Minoso's death comes just weeks after the death of Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. He passed away Jan. 23 at the age of 83. Minoso attended Banks's funeral.

The family of Minoso released a statement Sunday which read:

Our entire family appreciates the kind expressions of concern, sympathy and compassion from so many of our friends and fans of the White Sox during this most difficult time.  Minnie lived a full life of joy and happiness, surrounded always by friends and family.  It is during moments like these that love matters most.  Minnie enjoyed nothing more than to be at the ballpark cheering on his White Sox.  For Minnie, every day was a reason to smile, and he would want us all to remember him that way, smiling at a ballgame.  As he so often said, “God Bless you, my friends.”
Thank you for respecting our family and our privacy during this trying time.

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