Howdy doody kiddos! I’m back! Bet you didn’t miss me and my esoteric baseball trivia. I’ve been crazy busy traveling the country catching baseball games, working like a madman, and thinking of cool ways to make fun of my sister’s boyfriend. (He’s a dream, but I just love making fun of the poor guy) All this great stuff has impeded me from imparting my incredible wisdom on you, my dear readers.
Anyway, on to names. Some of you real baseball fans (that means you, Sackler) may have seen a guy named Zoilo Almonte, who debuted for the Yankees this season and is holding his own in the tough AL East.
Surprisingly, Almonte has a long ways to go if he wants to be the best Zoilo to ever don a Major League uniform. You see, the subject of today’s post is a former American League MVP. His name – Zoilo Versalles.
Versalles, a shortstop and native of Vedado, Cuba, won the MVP Award in 1965, leading the league in runs, doubles and triples, to go along with a league-leading strikeout total. He also won a Gold Glove Award that year – the second and last of his career. He was the first Latin American player to win the MVP.
Versalles was actually statistically one of the worst players to ever win an MVP Award, but he won it. Tony Gwynn, one of the game’s all-time greats, never won one. Nor did Mike Piazza. Nor did Johnny Mize. So many of baseball’s legends can’t say they won one. Yet Zoilo did.
He may be one of baseball’s least known MVPs, but he has one of baseball’s most valuable names.
And for that, I must say, you go, Zoilo!