Minnie Minoso son remembers White Sox legend: ‘He was just happy and he was great’

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CHICAGO -- Sometimes it’s hard to see the man behind a sports legend… until you talk with his son

At 26, Charlie Rice-Minoso is the youngest child of Minnie Minoso.  The White Sox legend died on Sunday at the age of 90. He was out running errands at the time.

“He was just happy and he was great,” Charlie says of his father.  “The last thing he said to me was ‘I won’t be gone long, I’ll see you later.”

By the time Charlie came along, “Mr. White Sox” was done with his playing career, which lasted through five decades, and had become an ambassador for the team he held so dear.

Minoso was Chicago’s first Black player in the majors. He was a trailblazer, who hit a homer his first time at bat for the South Side in 1951.

Charlie says his father’s generous spirit was part of him. He says Minoso loved to cook, loved his fans and loved a White Sox winning streak.

“He was so superstitious,” Charlie says. “He repeated everything when the Sox were on a winning streak. He would have to say hello to the same people, in the same clothes, drive the same route to the ballpark.”

The pinnacle of that was in 2005 when the Sox won the World Series.  Despite his accomplishments, Minoso told ESPN just last week it hurt that he never made it to the baseball Hall of Fame.

For Charlie, a different hall of fame was won this week as fans, from President Obama on down recalled their memories of Minoso and what his life represented.

“It’s great to hear that and it’s great to know,” Charlie says. “It means he’s not gone. He may not be with us but he still has a presence here and it’s such an honor.”

Donations can be mad: http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/charities/index.jsp

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