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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Missouri man charged with impersonating former MLB pitcher Omar Olivares

Many baseball fans may not be too familiar with former journeyman MLB pitcher Omar Olivares. However, that didn’t stop a Missouri man from using Olivares’ identity to sell fake memorabilia from the right-hander, who spent 12 big league seasons with eight different teams..

Police in Manchester, Missouri—a St. Louis suburb—arrested a man who had apparently been posing as Olivares for financial gain.

The specifics from the allaged scams have not yet been released. The real Olivares retired from baseball in 2001, and has been living in Pennsylvania, where he learned of the impersonation.

On the one hand, seems utterly random- on the other hand, makes more sense than trying to pass yourself off as someone who is much more visible….

 

QLE Posted: January 18, 2020 at 12:52 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: omar olivares, scams

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2020 at 01:19 AM (#5917120)
It's a (prob of getting caught) X (money to be made) equation and certainly Olivares is a good pick for minimizing the first parameter but how much money can you sell even real Olivares memorabilia for? I suppose he has a first hit baseball and maybe a first HR baseball but not sure what else.

He was a very useful pitcher for a few years and I believe he was part of my secret weapon for winning a fantasy league in 1999. It was an odd online quasi-sabermetric league that allowed daily lineup changes and had realistic playing time totals such that you could use up to 162 starts and 120 (or something) relief appearances. But nearly any SP earned more points than even the best closers and, for some reason, the set-up decided before the season started whether a pitcher was a SP or a RP so a "RP" that started counted as a relief appearance. I know Omar Daal was listed as a RP and that was the year he went 16-9 with 32 starts and a 3.65 ERA ... out of my bullpen. Looking at his record now, I'm pretty sure Olivares was another one and he went 15-11 in 32 starts with a 4.16 ERA (114 ERA+). That was also Jose Lima's magical season and I think he was my third guy at 21-10 in 35 starts and a 125 ERA+. Anyway, a really good closer would give you like 9 points per appearance while these guys gave you 15-20 so as long as you could rotate them in and out to use up all your relief games, you cleaned up. Luckily I was the first guy in my league to figure this out.
   2. dirk Posted: January 18, 2020 at 01:21 AM (#5917121)
olivares was a better hitter than jeff mathis.
   3. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 18, 2020 at 07:11 AM (#5917134)
Omar Olivares is the Jon Voight of pitchers.
   4. Dock Ellis Posted: January 18, 2020 at 10:17 AM (#5917146)
Walt, he may have been collecting modest fees for doing local memorabilia shows, to the extent that's even a thing anymore. But yeah his autograph card isnt worth much, and you'd have to be a huge fan to even justify the $15 or so retail price of an official baseball and have him sign that for $X.

TFA also says he was loaned money under this ruse, presumably under the assumption the lender had that an ex-MLB player was good for it. It's definitely a weird con, and he was probably getting kicks out of it beyond the few bucks he was making here and there. It's like a really poor man's version of Catch Me If You Can.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: January 18, 2020 at 11:45 AM (#5917159)
Wrong Bill Henry
from 2007:

"Last week, an obituary of Bill Henry, the former major league relief pitcher, was picked up by news wires, only it turned out to be the obituary of a Florida man with the same name who had been impersonating the baseball player for nearly two decades.

This Bill Henry was a relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds. He appeared in two games of the 1961 World Series against the Yankees. Henry also pitched for the Red Sox, Cubs, Giants and Pirates before ending his Major League career in 1969 with the Houston Astros. Well, last week, all of Bill Henry's accomplishments were listed on the newswires, only they were details in another man's obituary, a man named Bill Henry from Lakeland, Florida, who is four years older. A man who had led his wife and friends to believe that he was baseball's Bill Henry.

Mr. HENRY: We're 6'2" and same weight, left-handed and, I guess he was quite a baseball fan and he knew all about me and just picked up on it.

BLOCK: Bill Henry says he doesn't understand why this other man would claim to be him. The Florida man's widow doesn't know either. Her Bill Henry was a salesman whom she met two decades ago in Michigan. He had been married before and she never met his two children, who are both now dead. Elizabeth Henry says she had no reason to doubt her husband even though he didn't have any memorabilia from his time in the Big Leagues."

[UPDATE: The real Bill Henry is still kicking at age 86. probably]
   6. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 18, 2020 at 12:15 PM (#5917163)
I suppose one could walk the earth claiming to be Don August wo much hassle for awhile.
   7. greenback slays lewks Posted: January 18, 2020 at 01:11 PM (#5917179)
Last time I heard about Olivares was about 15 years ago, a few years after he had retired. He was playing winter ball in Puerto Rico, and that was back when I would do silly things like check Puerto Rico Winter League box scores. I remember seeing that, thinking "Is that the Omar Olivares?" as if Omar Olivares' pitching in the PRWL was somehow important, like Rob McElhenney showing up in an episode of Lost, or as if there were Omar Olivareses running around.

The idea of guys who are a bit past their MLB-caliber primes showing up in winter league games did seem cool though.
   8. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: January 18, 2020 at 01:15 PM (#5917180)
Omar Olivareses


Truly ace Argentinian punk band.
   9. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 18, 2020 at 01:20 PM (#5917182)
The correct term is Omar Olivarii.
   10. Sunday silence Posted: January 18, 2020 at 05:15 PM (#5917214)
I had a client who claimed to have played for Texas Rangers and knew all these guys from the BIg Red Machine. I looked him up, and no he never played for them. It was interesting the next time he phoned me.

Another guy was visiting the US patent office and claimed to have played LB for the Falcons. He was about 5' 9" and was really stocky, but 5' 9"?? NO he didnt play for them either.
   11. Tin Angel Posted: January 18, 2020 at 05:22 PM (#5917216)
Anyone heard from cardsfanboy recently?
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 18, 2020 at 05:30 PM (#5917221)
He posted a few days ago. He’s ok, just busy with other stuff.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2020 at 05:54 PM (#5917227)
I can "understand" trying to pass yourself off as a minor celeb when you meet strangers. I can believe this occasionally rises to the level of criminal fraud -- you sucker somebody into investing in your business, etc. So the "traditional" con man stuff I get. It's the selling of Omar Olivares memorabilia that confuses me.

As long as nobody ever checked our real names or birthdates, I'm sure I could get folks to believe I am Jumbo Davis.
   14. gef, talking mongoose & vexatious litigant Posted: January 18, 2020 at 06:24 PM (#5917241)
I had a client who claimed to have played for Texas Rangers and knew all these guys from the BIg Red Machine. I looked him up, and no he never played for them. It was interesting the next time he phoned me.


Not baseball-related, but a political science prof friend of mine tells me she knows some woman in government circles (she won't identify her) who talks about her friendship at Tuskegee U. with Angela Davis when they were students back in the day.

Angela went to, uh, Brandeis. (Which my friend didn't know. Research is your friend!)
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: January 18, 2020 at 06:43 PM (#5917244)
I once walked out of the Mets' players exit at Shea Stadium and one of the waiting fans asked her friend if I was David Cone. the severe sunburn I had earned the day before undoubtedly helped.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: January 18, 2020 at 06:47 PM (#5917246)
Was this guy part of the Schilling trade?or was that a different Omar and/or a different Olivares?
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 18, 2020 at 07:03 PM (#5917248)
That was Omar Daal (also on Walt’s fantasy team above).
   18. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 18, 2020 at 08:22 PM (#5917257)
and/or a different Olivares?


One of my footnote people is a guy named Oswaldo Olivares. He put up a Tony Gwynn season at Lynchburg in 1977: .370/.436/.498 with 47 stolen bases. I think he set a bunch of Carolina League records. He never made the majors, but played about 15 years in Mexico and Venezuela, I think is in the Halls of Fame for both leagues.

Edit: Salem, not Lynchburg.
   19. Snowboy Posted: January 18, 2020 at 09:49 PM (#5917271)
I can "understand" trying to pass yourself off as a minor celeb when you meet strangers. I can believe this occasionally rises to the level of criminal fraud -- you sucker somebody into investing in your business, etc. So the "traditional" con man stuff I get. It's the selling of Omar Olivares memorabilia that confuses me.

As long as nobody ever checked our real names or birthdates, I'm sure I could get folks to believe I am Jumbo Davis.


Hi Jumbo...I have a friend who once found himself in a local bar in the 80s, surrounded by visiting/barnstorming NHL players.
He attempted to blend in, introducing himself as "Mike Liut."
It was the perfect con, considering a goalie's face would never be known.
He took none of the people or players down for money, but he did report afterwards: "Gretzky can't play pool."

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