BILL JAMES ON SLAUGHTER AND MINOSO. It occurred to me that my associating Minnie Minoso and Enos Slaughter may have come from Bill James. I checked in the BILL JAMES HISTORICAL BASEBALL ABSTRACT, published in 1986, and sure enough, in his discussion of which players belong in the Hall of Fame, James said: “Much of the argument that has been applied to Enos Slaughter, and with merit, could also be applied to Minnie Minoso….As a player, he was tightly similar to Slaughter, a fast, hustling, line-drive hitter with medium-range power.”
James pointed out that “few people think about the fact that [Minoso’s] best years may have been behind him before he ever got a chance.” Minoso’s birthdate in Cuba has been a mystery. James accepted that Minoso was 28 before got to the majors and on that basis he estimated that if Minoso had gotten to the majors when he was 22, he would have had 3079 hits in his career, which statistic alone—by exceeding the 3000 hit milestone— would have put him in the Hall of Fame. From this point of view, Minoso is still being penalized by the color line.