September 1967 and cheering for Tony and Zoilo

As we wait for the 2023 baseball season to sort out division winners and wild card participants, let’s remember one great pennant race story from the past. It was 1967 and 4 teams were in contention for the AL pennant entering the last weekend of the season. They were Boston, Minnesota, Detroit and Chicago. We remind you that before divisional play was introduced in 1969, the World Series, or post season, was between the AL and NL champs. In other words, no divisions or wild cards back then. 

There were 7 Cubans playing in those 4 teams that weekend. 

The Minnesota Twins had perennial All Star Tony Olivaex-MVP Zoilo Versalles, outfielder Sandy Valdespino and back-up catcher Hank Izquierdo. Oliva led the AL with 34 doubles and hit .289 and Versalles played 160 games at shortstop. The Boston Red Sox had a outfielder Jose Tartabull.  His son Danny hit 252 HR in the majors later. The Detroit Tigers had a veteran pitcher Orlando Peña. The Chicago White Sox had a young pitcher, Aurelio Monteguado

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