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Al Oliver ... Hall of Famer?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by 3OctaveFart, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. 3OctaveFart

    3OctaveFart Guest

    No joke about this, members.
    Al Oliver had more than 2,700 hits and a .303 lifetime average.
    He also had more than 500 doubles and 1,300 RBI, playing most of his career in neutral or pitchers parks from 1968 to 1985.
    He was a 7-time all star finished in the top 10 in MVP voting several times.
    He won a World's Championship with Pittsburgh in 1971.
    His career numbers are not far different from Jim Rice except Oliver hit for average and Rice hit for power.
    Oliver's closest career comparison is Steve Garvey- using similarity scores.
    But what's interesting is that Kirby Puckett- a first-ballot Hall of Famer- retired at 34 with a career most similar to Oliver's through the same age.
    The difference?
    Puckett retired because of glaucoma while Oliver continued to play another five seasons.
    In fact, Oliver's next season is arguably the best season of his career.
    Does anyone have an educated thought why Oliver didn't receive more attention once he became eligible?
    I mean the guy got a pitiful 19 votes out of 444 (4%) in his only year on the ballot.
  2. Gehrig

    Gehrig Active Member

    I was an Al Oliver fan. I remember watching him win the batting title while with the Expos. (1982, as mentioned as his best season by Chancellor.) That was a fun team to watch.

    I have never understood why Oliver has been so unappreciated. He produced year-in, year-out. Maybe if he was still with Pittsburgh when they won it in 1979 instead of playing with Texas would he have received a little more notice. They guy wasn't flashy, but he was a fine ballplayer. I'd rank him just above Cecil Cooper and on par with Lou Whitaker as someone the HOF voters tragically ignored in recent years.

    He deserved far better.
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Plus he is the answer to Joe Morgan's trivia question, who hit the hardest line drives most consistently?


    "Dave Winfield."- Jon
    "All right, keep going. That's one. That's "A". "A" wasn't right.- Joe
    [Loud Laughs] "Yes it was right! I beg to differ!"- Jon
    "I'm gonna give you, uhh … I'm gonna give … I'm gonna give you a hint. You even broadcast games for him."- Joe
    [Long Pause] "I broadcast Dave Winfield's games."- Jon
    "No … for the answer, I'm talking about. I'm telling you, he asked all the other players. I'm not saying—"- Joe
    "Well, I'm saying, this is a question for which there is no correct answer."- Jon
    "Yeah, there's a correct answer."- Joe
    "Well, what did you say? What was your answer? Did you get it right?"- Jon
    "Yes." [pause] "Al Oliver."- Joe
    "Oh, Al Oliver. He was—"- Jon
    "See!"- Joe
    "He was a very good line drive hitter."- Jon
    "I knew you would say that. See, I knew that you'd eventually come up with the answer."- Joe
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    If you need to tell me all that to make an argument, you have no real argument. It's Al Oliver. Against a whole lot of better candidates.
  5. 3OctaveFart

    3OctaveFart Guest

    Why are all those hits good enough and meaningful enough for Craig Biggio and not enough for Al Oliver?
    Compare the resumes.
    It's not even close.
  6. Say what you will about Oliver - I think most people can agree it's criminal that he didn't even garner the 5% needed to stay on the ballot.
  7. Gehrig

    Gehrig Active Member

    I actually remember being shocked the year Oliver fell short on the Hall of Fame ballot. I didn't expect him to get elected that year, but to not even receive the minimum number of votes to remain eligible was mind boggling to me.This struck me as one of those cases of the sports writers having short term memory. Perhaps he was hurt but playing the later half of his career with several different ballclubs rather than racking up his impressive career totals in one city where he may have drawn more media attention?
  8. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I laughed when I saw the thread - but then checked Baseball-Reference.com
    Similar Career feature. I'd say no given the premature ends of Clemente and Puckett's careers and the apples/oranges comparisons of players from long ago. Though I would say no, based on contemporaries. If he was a Yankee lifer with four or five rings? Maybe.
    "1.Steve Garvey (889)
    Garret Anderson (887)
    Bill Buckner (866)
    Vada Pinson (863)
    Dave Parker (862)
    Joe Medwick (862) *
    Zack Wheat (861) *
    Roberto Clemente (857) *
    Mickey Vernon (856)
    Enos Slaughter (854) *
    * - Signifies Hall of Famer
    Most Similar by Ages
    View Similar Player Links in Pop-up
    Hold mouse over #'s to see names
    Ron Fairly (964) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Ron Northey (977) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Gary Matthews (969) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Gary Matthews (964) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Darin Erstad (948) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Gary Matthews (938) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Garret Anderson (949) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Garret Anderson (937) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Garret Anderson (927) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Steve Garvey (926) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Steve Garvey (923) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Kirby Puckett (927) * 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Kirby Puckett (923) * 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Steve Garvey (905) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Steve Garvey (897) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    Steve Garvey (889) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 C
    * - Signifies Hall of Famer
  9. beanpole

    beanpole Member

    I remember crying in my parents' kitchen when I heard that the Bucs traded him.

    He may not be in the HOF, but he's still my favorite player.
  10. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    So did Jackie Hernandez.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    People say this a lot, but who has been a recipient of a Yankee "bump," in reality? Rizzuto is the one that comes to mind. But plenty of other Yankees that seemingly would be a recipient of favorable treatment are on the outside looking in: Ron Guidry. Thurman Munson. Don Mattingly. Eventually Bernie Williams.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Only if they put him into the Tony Perez wing.
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