Monday, March 24, 2014

MISSING IN ACTION- 1972 ZOILO VERSALLES

You think a former Most Valuable Player would get a little more love from Topps than 1965 winner Zoilo Versalles got in 1972.
After appearing in 66 games for the Atlanta Braves, hitting .191 in 194 at-bats, Versalles was still a member of the organization by the time the 1972 set was being printed, yet he wasn't given a slot on the checklist while quite a few "no-names" with even less action did.
Well today I'll post a design for the "missing" card. Take a look:


Not the best picture out there, but believe me when I tell you I looked far and wide for a better one of him in an Atlanta uniform. Couldn't find one.
Now, I'll admit that Versalles really was one of those "who?" M.V.P. names when you go through the awards history.
Sure he had a nice season in 1965 as part of the pennant winning Minnesota Twins.
However that team was loaded with "co-stars", from Tony Oliva, to Harmon Killebrew, to Mudcat Grant and Jim Kaat on the mound.
Nevertheless, Versalles ended up leading the American League in at-bats, runs, doubles, triples and total bases, and even pulled in a Gold Glove.
So when voting time came around, he outdistanced teammate Oliva 275 to 174 in points.
It's interesting to note that to reinforce the fact that Versalles had quite a co-starring cast helping him out, no less than six Twins finished in the top-15 in M.V.P. voting that year: Versalles, Oliva, Grant (6th), Earl Battey (10th), Jimmie Hall (13th) and Killebrew (15th).
Not too bad, even IF they ended up losing to the Dodgers in the World Series.
For Versalles, he'd never again come close to those type of numbers, finishing up his career in 1971 after a few mediocre years with the Dodgers, Indians, Senators and Braves.
I guess you could consider this a "career-capper" card as well for what it's worth. However I really left that thread to retired Hall of Famers.

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