From 1961 through 1966 the durable Battey played in 805 of the Twins’ first 970 games despite injuries. Besides a perennial bad knee, several dislocated fingers, and a goiter problem (at times he ballooned to 60 pounds over his listed weight), he twice had cheekbones broken by pitched balls and wore a special helmet after 1962. In Game Three of the 1965 WS, he ran into a neck-high crossbar in Dodger Stadium while chasing a foul pop. He played the remainder of the series even though he could barely speak or turn his head.
A three-time Gold Glove winner, Battey topped all ML catchers in 1962 with a .280 BA, threw out 24 runners, and picked off 13. He had career highs of 26 homers and 84 RBI in 1963. He was the top vote-getter on the 1965 ?-AL All-Star squad.