Orestes "Minnie" Minoso, a veteran of the Negro Leagues' New York Cubans, where his leadoff spot in the batting order aided the Cubans as they captured the Negro National League pennant and won World Series from the Negro American League's Cleveland Buckeyes. He was the starting third baseman in both the 1947 and 1948 East-West All-Star games before entering the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians in 1949.
Minoso had a sensational rookie year, batting .326 with 173 hits while leading the league in triples and stolen bases. In a questionable decision, sportswriters gave the Rookie of the Year Award to the Yankees' statistically inferior Gil McDougald. A speedy outfielder, Minoso led the American League in steals three consecutive years. For his career, Minoso batted .298 with 1,962 hits.