As the Twins entered spring training in 1965 they faced some challenges that baseball teams do not face today. One of those challenges was the “holdout.” Agents didn’t really exist back then and arbitration was unheard of as players went head-to-head with their teams to sign a contract that both sides could live with. Back in the day, “holdouts” were commonplace as players fought with ownership for a good contract. In today’s world they never even discuss pay cuts after a player has a substandard season, back then it was common place and player salaries could be cut by as much as 20%.
Twins owner Calvin Griffith was known as one of the toughest negotiators in baseball and there was seldom a year that went by that he didn’t have some difficult salary negotiations with a number of his players, 1965 was no different as Calvin had some issues signing two of his best pitchers, Camilo Pascual and Jim Kaat.
The Cuban born outfielder Sandy Valdespino played sparingly for Minnesota between 1965-1967 appearing in 259 games. You can learn a little more about Hilario Valdespino by reading the piece about him in the March 27, 1965 issue of the Sporting News.