But then there is Al Oliver who played on those great Pirates teams of the seventies. He has three teammates that are in the Hall of Fame, Clemente, Stargell, and Mazeroski. Although he was runner up for the Rookie of Year in 1969, he never seemed to have a steady position. First there was the roadblock at first base with Bob Robertson. At the time, Robertson was thought of as the next Ralph Kiner. This meant Oliver played the outfield, not exactly his strong suit. When Robertson did not cut it, Oliver was again denied the opportunity to play first because Willie Stargell played there because of an injury. Eventually Al became the starter at first base, but all of the switching between playing outfield and first base might have stunted his development as a major league player.
“Al, as a lifetime .300 hitter after 18 seasons, I feel is deserving of induction into the Hall of Fame. There is no question in my mind had he not been forced out of the game by collusion, had he been given an all-out honest attempt to achieve 3,000 hits, he would have done it. He was pushed out of the game when he was still a .300 hitter. I feel he deserves a place in baseball history.”
...Al Oliver is a dynamic motivational speaker and after finishing his career, has formed an organization to help others. He lost both his parents at an early age, leaving him as the parenting figure for his pregnant sister and younger brother. If it were not for his faith and trust in God, he could have easily succumbed to the demons that other star athletes have faced. But he did not.
This is why I believe the Veterans Committee should welcome him with open arms through the doors in Cooperstown!
Posted: November 23, 2012 at 09:36 AM | 22 comment(s)
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