Saturnio Orestes Arrieta Armas Minoso -- one name for each of the five decades in which the venerable "Minnie" will have appeared in the major leagues.

Minoso is being activated for the final three Chicago White Sox games this weekend, and who said departing owner Bill Veeck didn't have one last trick up his sleeve? At 57, Minoso -- assuming he gets in there one time against California -- would be the oldest known big-league baseball player this side of Satchel Paige.The only other to pull the five-decade stunt was Nick Altrock, the Washington Senator pitcher and coach better known as a diamond clown.

Altrock started with Louisville (NL) in 1898, dropped out until 1902, was a White Sox 20-game winner 1904, '05 and '06 and was really done by 1909, before making cameo appearances with the Nats in the 'teens, 1924, '29, '31 and '33; he was right around age 57 the last one Minoso broke in with Cleveland for nine games in 1949, finishing up his outfielding career with the 1963 Senators and '64 Chisox and playing-managing in Mexico until Chicago brought him back as a coach in 1976. The Sox activated him long enough in September '76 to get one hit in eight trips as a DH.

Will Minnie be sharp after the four-year layoff? He turns 58 next month. But against Angel pitching, well. . .

Footnote: Oakland's Rickey Henderson broke Ty Cobb's 65-year-old American League record with his 97th stolen base Tuesday night. Minoso averaged 26 a year in winning successive AL theft titles in 1951-52-53 -- but in that era, the young Cuban was a real flash. The league's 1950 leader was Dom DiMaggio, 15 steals.