Veteran producer Tom Weinberg’s Baseball’s Been Very, Very Good to Me, the first ever portrait of legendary Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso – the first black player in Chicago, is ready for prime time after 36 years in the making. The doc premieres Dec. 11 on Ch. 11 at 10 p.m.
Baseball is the result of a unique relationship between Weinberg and 89 year-old Minnie Miñoso spanning four decades.
“I have been interviewing and hanging out with Minnie Miñoso for nearly 40 years. We love and respect each other. Minnie overcame huge odds to reach enormous success as a player, a role model, and as a great human being,” Weinberg says.
The documentary features high profile baseball figures, including Hall of Famer Tony Perez, baseball commissioner Bud Selig. Others interviewed are former Mayor Richard M. Daley; Professor Adrian Burgos; Madison, Wisc. Mayor Paul Soglin; baseball blogger Roger Wallenstein among others, and literally dozens of fans who still love him, 61 years after his Rookie of the Year season with the White Sox.
Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso Arietta (“Minnie”), a 29-year-old Sporting News “Rookie of the Year” in 1951, has been compared with Jackie Robinson and is recognized as the first Black Latin American star in the major leagues. As Chicago’s first black player he was subject to racial and personal prejudice.
Miñoso is the only professional baseballer to play in seven different decades, in Cuba, the Negro Leagues, the Majors, in Mexico, and in the Minors. He was a nine-time All Star, and had a lifetime .298 average. He missed being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by three votes in December, 2011.
Ch. 11 will rebroadcast Baseball twice on Dec. 12.