Hilario "Sandy" Valdespino Borroto (born January 14, 1939) is a Cuban-born former corner outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for five different teams in the seven years from the 1965 to the 1971 seasons. Listed at 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 m) tall and 170 pounds (77 kg), Valdespino batted and threw left-handed. He was born in San José de las Lajas, Cuba.
|Born: January 14, 1939|
San José de las Lajas, Cuba
|April 12, 1965, for the Minnesota Twins|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 1971, for the Kansas City Royals|
|Runs batted in||67|
Signed by fabled Washington Senators scout Joe Cambria in 1957, Valdespino had an extensive minor league career, appearing in more than 1,500 games over 16 seasons through 1974. He spent eight full years in the minor league system of the Senators and their post-1960 successor, the Minnesota Twins. He broke into the major leagues after winning the 1964 batting title of the Triple-A International League with a .337 mark as a member of the Atlanta Crackers.
1965 Minnesota TwinsEdit
Valdespino was a 26-year-old rookie with the 1965 Twins, who won a team-record 102 games and the third American League pennant in the franchise's 65-year history. Valdespino spelled regular left fielder Bob Allison and right fielder Tony Oliva, starting 47 games and batting .261 and setting career bests in games played (108), plate appearances (274), at bats (245), runs scored (38), hits (64) and runs batted in (22). He then appeared in five of the seven games of the 1965 World Series, starting in left field in Games 1 and 4, pinch-hitting in three more, and collecting three hits in 11 at bats. He hit a key double in the third inning of Game 1 off Don Drysdale of the Los Angeles Dodgers, part of the Twins' six-run uprising that sealed their 8–2, opening game victory. However, the Dodgers battled back to win the series in the seventh game behind Sandy Koufax.
Remainder of MLB careerEdit
After 1965, Valdespino would spend only one more full year—1967—in the major leagues, when he appeared in 99 games for the Twins. He was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the Rule 5 draft that winter, and spent the remainder of his big-league career with abbreviated tenures with the Braves and three other teams. In 382 MLB games played (259 for the Twins, 36 for the Braves, 41 for the Houston Astros, 28 for the Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers, and 18 for the Kansas City Royals), he was credited with 176 hits, with 23 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, and 67 runs batted in. He batted .230 lifetime.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors), or Retrosheet
- Cohen, Alan, Sandy Valdespino, Society for American Baseball Research Biography Project
- Venezuelan Professional Baseball League
- Bio from Cool of the Evening: The 1965 Minnesota Twins