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    1965 Zoilo Versalles Game Worn Minnesota Twins Jersey - First MVP Season by a Latin American Player! Signed by the Senators when he was eighteen and mentored by Billy Martin, the speedy and often bespectacled Versalles became the Twins starting shortstop at twenty-one. One of the first power hitters at that position, he led all A.L. shortstops in home runs from 1961-65, while topping the junior circuit in triples from 1963-65.

    In his breakout season of 1965, Zorro exploded as the Twins leadoff hitter, batting .273 with nineteen homers, and seventy-seven RBI, while leading the league in plate appearances (728), at bats (666), runs (126), doubles (45), and triples (12). More importantly, he provided a raw and aggressive energy (in the mold of Pete Rose), coupled with clutch play, which lifted his club to a higher plane. He used his speed to stretch singles into doubles and doubles into triples, got hits when his team needed them the most, and drove in runs at key junctures. Versalles described his energy as being "Like a tiger in a cage."

    Mickey Mantle agreed: "He does it all now. Fields, hits, thinks - and most important, runs. He's got to be the most fearsome runner in our league, regardless of the stolen base column."

    On a team which featured Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat and Mudcat Grant, Zorro was the catalyst and undisputed star behind the franchise's first 100-win season and first A.L. pennant in thirty-two years.

    For his efforts, Versalles was named to his second All-Star team, won his second Gold Glove, and was a near-unanimous selection for the A.L. MVP, garnering nineteen of the twenty first place votes and obliterating his nearest rival.

    Presented here is a Versalles 1965 game jersey, from a season when he led the Twins to the A.L. title and became the first non-US-born athlete/Latin player to capture a big league MVP award. The road gray flannel with light bluish tint sports a seven-button front, with "Twins" scripted upward across the chest and "2" on the verso, all sewn-on in gorgeous blue on red tackle twill. The left sleeve reports a team patch, the collar features a gray felt swatch with "Versalles" perfectly scripted in blue chainlink, and the tail displays a "Spalding" manufacturer's tag, "40" size tag, and "Set 2 Versalles 2 40 65" artfully stitched in blue chainlink. This specimen exhibits nice wear and is completely original, with no major flaws to speak of.

    The jersey's MVP and world Series vintage plus Zoilo Versalles' cult status and place as the first Latin American player to be named MVP, make this exemplar a most significant piece of baseball history to say the least. LOA from Heritage Auctions.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2020
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 14
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