I had a pleasant surprise at the Twins game on August 2: While my friend and I were sitting in our upper deck seats, a man came and sat three seats from us. He looked familiar—like Tony Oliva—but I did not think Tony would be sitting in our section. But I turned to my friend and said, “I think that’s Tony.” Sure enough, in section 214, fans started chatting and taking pictures, confirming it WAS Tony Oliva! My friend took my picture with him (inset right). He left for a short bit, but then came back and sat right next to me. It startled the bejeebers out of me! Later, all I could think was, why isn’t Oliva in the Hall Of Fame?
Oliva has great numbers as a ballplayer. Starting in 1962, he played all of his 15 seasons for the Twins. In his Rookie season, Oliva had a batting average of .444 over 9 games. Over his career, Oliva hit 20+ home runs five times and a career-high 32 home runs in 1964. Also, Oliva racked up 220 home runs and 947 RBIs in his career. An eight-time all-star, Oliva won the American League batting title three times and was awarded Rookie of the Year. Oliva has been up for a Hall Of Fame induction on 15 occasions but has faltered each time, with him getting the highest percentage in 1988 with 47.3%. While Oliva may not have amazing numbers that other Hall Of Fame players have, I think he should be considered again. Do you agree that he should get the call to the Hall?
An update from an earlier post: The gavel has come down hard on 13 MLB players. On August 5, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig suspended 13 players for using steroids to enhance their play. The drugs purportedly were supplied by a Biogenesis Clinic in Miami. All but one of the 13 received 50-game suspensions. The one who didn’t received a much bigger penalty, the longest suspension in baseball history: Yankee Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez has been banned a whopping 221 games (through the 2014 season) for using steroids, recruiting players for the clinic, and interfering with the investigation. While he appeals his suspension, Rodriguez somehow still gets to play as the appeal won’t be dealt with until the season is over. To me, he should be suspended immediately; it doesn’t make sense that he is still in the Yankee line-up. Information about other suspended players can be found here.
Written By: Michael L. Sack