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Bridgeport school renamed after White Sox legend Minnie Miñoso

Chicago school renamed to honor White Sox legend Minnie Miñoso
Chicago school renamed to honor White Sox legend Minnie Miñoso 02:18

CHICAGO (CBS) -- An elementary school in the Bridgeport neighborhood has been renamed after White Sox Hall of Famer Minnie Miñoso.

McClellan Elementary School, at 3527 S. Wallace St., just blocks from Guaranteed Rate Field, has been renamed Minnie Miñoso Academy to honor the Cuba native, who played 17 seasons in the major leagues, and was the first Black player on the White Sox when he made his debut with the team on May 1, 1951, hitting a home run in his first plate appearance against the Yankees.

Nicknamed "The Cuban Comet," he's also considered the first Black Cuban player in the big leagues.

Miñoso's family and members of the White Sox organization will be at the school on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the renaming. It's one of three Chicago Public Schools changing its name this year to better reflect the community. The switch came after a two-year process led by students who wanted change. Principal Carrie Cole said the decision was made "on the basis of the names being outdated and inequitable for the student populations we represent."

"Personally, I'm quite overwhelmed and emotional by this honor, which is such a meaningful continuation of dad's memory and legacy," said Charlie Rice-Miñoso, Minnie's son. 

He added, "These Black and Brown kids who will have someone to look to, who can relate to them, relate to their struggles and their hopes, dreams of them and their families."

Miñoso played 12 of his 17 seasons in Chicago, hitting .304 with 135 homers and 808 RBI for the White Sox. The team retired his No. 9 in 1983, and there is a statue of Miñoso at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Regarded as baseball's first black Latino star, Miñoso was a Havana native who spent most of his career in left field. He is one of only two players to appear in a major league game in five different decades. He got his final hit in 1976 at age 53 and went 0 for 2 in two games in 1980 for the White Sox.

A 13-time All Star, Miñoso died in 2015, at the age of 89, was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2021, after he was selected by the Veterans Committee.

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