We remember the 1965 Minnesota Twins and the 4 “cubanos” who were a big part of their championship.
The Twins were the Washington Senators until 1960 when they moved to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St Paul. The Senators had a lot of Cubans in their farm system and many were still around when the Twins won the AL pennant.
The four Cubans were:
- Tony Oliva, the batting champ in 1964 and 1965. Tony would go on to win another batting title but his career was cut short by a knee injury;
- Camilo Pascual, the great righthanded pitcher who won 20 games twice. He won 176 games, a remarkable feat considering that he pitched with a lot of bad teams in the early days of his career. Pascual started game 3 of the 1965 World Series against the LA Dodgers;
- Zoilo Versalles, the eventual AL MVP of 1965; and,
- Hilario Valdespino, an extra outfielder who did not have a long career. He was known as Sandy in the major leagues.
Our family arrived in Wisconsin in September 1964. We got on the Twins bandwagon in 1965 and followed the games on radio. It was quite a treat to follow a team with 4 Cubans!
The 1965 Twins are one of the great memories of growing up Cuban in the US.