Albert Oliver Jr. (born October 14, 1946) is an American former professional baseball outfielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1968–1977), Texas Rangers (1978–1981), Montreal Expos (1982–1983), San Francisco Giants (1984), Philadelphia Phillies (1984), Los Angeles Dodgers (1985), and Toronto Blue Jays (1985), over the course of his 18-year MLB career. Nicknamed "Scoop", Oliver batted and threw left-handed.
Although Oliver played all three outfield positions, he was primary a center fielder, who also occasionally filled in at first base. He was signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1964. From 1970 to 1976 he played on five Pirates division champions, including the team that defeated the Baltimore Orioles in the 1971 World Series.
|Outfielder / First baseman|
|Born: October 14, 1946|
|September 23, 1968, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 5, 1985, for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Runs batted in||1,326|
|Career highlights and awards|
Oliver was called to the Major Leagues on September 14, 1968, which was the day his father, Al Oliver Sr., died. He appeared in 4 games that season. In his official rookie season, Oliver batted .285 with 17 home runs and drove in 70 runs, placing second in the 1969 National League Rookie of the Year voting. The following season, 1970, Oliver hit .270 and was fifth in the NL with seven sacrifice flies. He also finished second in the league with the 14 times he was hit by a pitch (the previous year he was plunked 12 times, fourth in the league). The Pirates won the National League East title for their first trip to the postseason since winning the 1960 World Series. However, they lost to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1970 National League Championship Series.
On September 1, 1971, the Pirates fielded what is believed to be the first all-black lineup in the history of the league. Oliver played first base, joining second baseman Rennie Stennett, center fielder Gene Clines, right fielder Roberto Clemente, left fielder Willie Stargell, catcher Manny Sanguillén, third baseman Dave Cash, shortstop Jackie Hernández and pitcher Dock Ellis in the starting lineup. Oliver ended the season with a .282 average, including 31 doubles (8th in the NL), seven triples (10th), 10 sacrifice flies (2nd), and five hit-by-pitches (good for 9th in the league). After beating the San Francisco Giants in the 1971 National League Championship Series, the Pirates won the World Series, beating the Baltimore Orioles in seven games with Oliver as their regular center fielder.
In 1972, Oliver raised his batting average to .312, good for sixth in the league. He hit 12 home runs with 89 RBI (10th in the NL). He scored 88 runs (8th in the league) and totalled 176 hits, which was also 8th in the NL. Oliver was named to his first All-Star game while finishing seventh in the NL MVP voting. In 1973, Oliver hit 20 home runs and drove in 99 runs (7th in the NL) while batting .292. Again he was among the league-leaders in hits (191, fifth in the NL), total bases (303, fifth in NL), doubles (38, second in NL), triples (7, eighth in NL), sacrifice flies (nine, 3rd in NL) and extra-base hits with 65, which put him in the top ten for the first of his five times in the league's top ten in that category. The Pirates won their third consecutive NL East title, however, they lost to the Reds 3 games to 2 in the NLCS. The Pirates offense led the National League in batting average with a .274 average and led the NL with 1505 hits.
In 1974, Oliver hit .321 with 198 hits, which were second and fourth in the National League respectively. He also hit 38 doubles and 12 triples, which were both second best in the NL. Oliver was seventh in NL MVP voting for the second time in three years. About Oliver, Willie Stargell said, "When it came to hitting ... all he ever did was crush the ball. Al was the perfect number three hitter because you knew he was going to make contact". He had a 23-game hitting streak in 1974 and another streak of 21 games where he got at least one hit. The Pirates won the NL East but lost to the Dodgers 3 games to 1 in the NLCS. The Pirates offense, known as the "Pittsburgh Lumber Company" again led the NL in hitting with 1560 hits and a .274 team batting average.
Oliver's 90 runs in 1975 was tenth in the NL as he hit .280 with 18 home runs and 84 RBI and played in the All-Star game for the second time. He tied a personal mark with 65 extra base hits, which was good for 5th in the NL, 39 of which were doubles, which put him third in the NL in that category. He was named as an outfielder on The Sporting News 1975 NL All-Star Team. The Pirates won the NL East again, but were swept by the Cincinnati Reds 3 games to none in the NLCS.
In 1976 Oliver hit .323; this was his first of nine straight .300+ seasons. He played in the All-Star game once again, batting .360 at the break, but an inner ear infection sidelined him in the second half, and prevented him from finishing in the top 10 in batting categories. He was voted the National League Player of the Month for June. In 1977, as part of the so-called "Pittsburgh Lumber Company", Oliver hit .308 (tenth in the NL) with 19 home runs and 82 RBI. His 175 hits were 10th in the NL. He also stole a career-high 13 bases, although he was thrown out 16 times along the way. His 8 sacrifice flies were fifth in the league as well.
On December 8, 1977, he was traded as part of a 4-team trade by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Nelson Norman to the Texas Rangers. The Atlanta Braves sent Willie Montañez to the New York Mets. The Texas Rangers sent Adrian Devine, Tommy Boggs, and Eddie Miller to the Atlanta Braves. The Texas Rangers sent a player to be named later and Tom Grieve to the New York Mets. The Texas Rangers sent Bert Blyleven to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The New York Mets sent Jon Matlack to the Texas Rangers. The New York Mets sent John Milner to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Texas Rangers later sent Ken Henderson to the New York Mets to complete the trade.
In 1978 Oliver was second in the AL with a .324 batting average, and his 170 hits were good for eighth in the league, and his 35 doubles were sixth in the league. The next season, 1979, Oliver hit .323, good for fifth in the league (the fifth time he had finished among his league's top ten in batting).
Wearing the number 0 on his uniform, Oliver played in all of Texas's 163 games in 1980, and reached career highs in hits (209, fourth in the AL), doubles (43, second in the AL) and RBI (117, fourth in the AL) while batting .319, which was eighth in the American League. He was voted to the AL All-Star team for the first time. Oliver was the outfielder on The Sporting News 1980 AL Silver Slugger Team. On August 17 at Tiger Stadium, he established an American League record with 21 total bases in a doubleheader (four home runs, a double and a triple).
On May 23, 1979 and August 17, 1980, Oliver hit 3 home runs in each game, the first against the Minnesota Twins in a 7-2 win and a year later against the Detroit Tigers in the second game of a doubleheader in a 12-6 victory.(He added another in the 1st game, to make it 4 in the double header. In between games, the Tigers' retired Al Kaline's #6)
In 1981 Oliver was ninth in the AL with a .309 average, sixth in hits with 130, and second in doubles with 29, while playing in the All-Star game (his fifth). He also won his second consecutive Silver Slugger Award as the best hitter at his position, which in 1981 was designated hitter.
On March 31, 1982, after he became the Rangers' all-time leading hitter (.319) and reached the club's top ten in virtually every offensive category, he was traded to the Montreal Expos for Larry Parrish and Dave Hostetler.
In 1982 with the Expos, Oliver hit a career-high .331 batting average to win the National League batting crown. He also led the NL in hits (204), doubles (43), extra bases (67), and total bases (317), and tied with Dale Murphy for the RBI lead with 109. His 43 doubles tied his 1980 career-high, and his 67 extra base hits was also a career-high as well as his 22 home runs, breaking his 1973 personal best. In addition to playing in his sixth All-Star game he was 3rd in the NL MVP voting and won his 3rd consecutive Silver Slugger Award, this time as a first baseman. He was also the first baseman on The Sporting News NL All-Star Team. He was voted the Montreal Expos Player of the Year at the end of the season.
In 1983 Oliver led the NL in doubles with 38 and was fourth in the NL in hits with 184. He hit .300 once again and topped the 2500 career hit level (August 10, 1983, off Mets' pitcher Carlos Diaz). and Oliver was selected for his seventh All-Star game, starting at first base in the 1983 Classic.
On February 27, 1984, Oliver was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Fred Breining and Max Venable. The San Francisco Giants later sent Andy McGaffigan to the Montreal Expos to complete the trade. Later that same year, on August 20, 1984, he was again traded, this time with Renie Martin to the Philadelphia Phillies for Kelly Downs and George Riley.
In the 1985 offseason, Oliver was traded by the Phillies to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Pat Zachry. Then, on July 9, 1985, he was traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Toronto Blue Jays for Len Matuszek. With the Blue Jays, Oliver delivered two game-winning hits in the first four games of the 1985 American League Championship Series against Kansas City. However, the Royals rallied to win the last three games. In the seventh and deciding game, the lefty Oliver started as the DH against right-hander Bret Saberhagen. But after pitching three scoreless innings, Saberhagen departed the game in favor of lefty Charlie Leibrandt, thus giving the Royals the platoon advantage. Right-handed batter Cliff Johnson pinch hit for Oliver, and struck out, ending a Blue Jays rally. Oliver was caught by TV cameras angrily scowling in the dugout, knowing his night—and as it turned out, his season and career—were over. Oliver batted .375 for the series.
Oliver claims that he was forced to retire due to collusion. Courts ruled that there was collusion among baseball owners in the mid-1980s, but a direct effect on Oliver has not been proven. Several players, including Kirk Gibson, were allowed to file for free agency a second time because of the court order based on the "collusion" finding. Andre Dawson said, "Al, as a lifetime .300 hitter after 18 seasons, I feel is deserving of induction into the Baseball 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 today."
Oliver batted .300 or more eleven times. His 2,743 career hits rank 45th on the all-time list. He also ranks among all-time top 50 in games played (2368), total bases (4083), RBI (1326) and extra-base hits (825). He was among the league's top ten in doubles nine times and among the league's top ten in hits nine times as well and finished in the top ten in batting average nine times. Five times he was among the league's top ten in total bases and four times he was in the top ten in RBIs. Because of these feats, his name has been mentioned more than once as a possible inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Oliver hit the last home run at Forbes Field. His shot came off Milt Pappas in the sixth inning of the last game played at the stadium, the second game of a June 28, 1970, doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs. He also drove in the first run ever scored at Three Rivers Stadium. His first-inning double off Gary Nolan drove in Richie Hebner in that stadium's inaugural game, on July 16 of that same 1970 season. However, the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Pirates 3–2 .
His son, Aaron Oliver, played football for the Texas A&M University team that won the 1998 Big 12 Conference Championship. Aaron, a four-year letterman and three-year starter, caught the first touchdown pass in Big 12 history.
On April 22, 2013, the Portsmouth City Council unanimously passed a resolution recognizing and appointing Al Oliver as "Mr. Ambassador" for the City of Portsmouth in recognition of his various efforts on behalf of the community and southern Ohio.
Oliver is portrayed on one of the Floodwall Murals in Portsmouth, Ohio, honoring local Major League Baseball players, scouts, and umpires.
In September 2014, Oliver released his second book, titled Life is a Hit, Don't Strike Out that chronicled his life and career.
| National League Player of the Month
The 1971 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five series that pitted the East Division champion Pittsburgh Pirates against the West Division champion San Francisco Giants. The Pirates won the Series three games to one and won the 1971 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. The Giants did not return to the postseason until 1987.
This was the third National League Championship Series in all. It was the first League Championship Series in either league that was not a sweep for the winning team (Baltimore swept Oakland in the 1971 ALCS).1971 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 90th season for the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; their 85th in the National League. It involved the Pirates finishing first in the National League East with a record of 97 wins and 65 losses. They defeated the San Francisco Giants three games to one in the National League Championship Series and beat the Baltimore Orioles four games to three in the World Series. The Pirates were managed by Danny Murtaugh, and played their first full season at Three Rivers Stadium, which had opened in July the year before.1972 National League Championship Series
The 1972 National League Championship Series was played between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates from October 7 to 11. Cincinnati won the series three games to two to advance to the World Series against the Oakland A's. The Reds became the first team in major league history to advance to the World Series without the best record in their respective league, made possible by the Junior and Senior Circuits each splitting into two divisions in 1969. In the previous three post seasons, the team with the best record in each league advanced to the World Series.
The 1972 NLCS ended with a dramatic ninth inning rally in the fifth and deciding game. The series was also notable as the last on-field appearance by Pittsburgh's future Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, who would die in a plane crash on December 31.1978 Texas Rangers season
The 1978 Texas Rangers season involved the Rangers finishing 2nd in the American League West with a record of 87 wins and 75 losses.1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1981 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 52nd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on August 9, 1981, at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, the home of the Cleveland Indians of the American League.
This was one of only two All-Star Games to be played outside the month of July (the other being the second 1959 game). The game was originally to be played on July 14, but was cancelled due to the players' strike lasting from June 12 to July 31. It was then brought back as a prelude to the second half of the season, which began the following day. At 72,086 people in attendance, it broke the stadium's own record of 69,751 set in 1954, setting the still-standing record for the highest attendance in an All Star Game.
Cleveland Stadium set a new All-Star Game record by hosting its fourth (and ultimately, final) Midsummer Classic. By the time Indians played host to the All-Star Game for the fifth time in 1997, they had moved to Jacobs Field.1982 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1982 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 53rd midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 13, 1982, at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, home of the Montreal Expos of the National League. The game resulted in a 4–1 victory for the NL, and Cincinnati Reds shortstop Dave Concepción was named the MVP.
It is notable for being the first All-Star Game ever played outside the United States. This would be the only All-Star Game to be played in Montréal, as the Expos would leave in 2005 to become the Washington Nationals before having an opportunity to host another. Four members of the Expos were voted into the starting lineup. The flyover at the conclusion of the National Anthems was done for the first time by a national air squadron other than those from the United States Air Force or Air National Guard as the Snowbirds from the Canadian Forces Air Command flew over Olympic Stadium, marking the first of their two All-Star appearances; they would perform the flyover for the 1991 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Toronto nine years later. It is also the last All-Star Game in which the manager of the runner-up for any league pennant managed in place of the manager of the defending league champions due to the latter's unemployment; Billy Martin of the Oakland Athletics managed in place of Bob Lemon, who had been fired by the New York Yankees, Martin's former team.1982 Major League Baseball season
The 1982 Major League Baseball season. Making up for their playoff miss of the year before, the St. Louis Cardinals won their ninth World Series championship, defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, four games to three.1982 Montreal Expos season
The 1982 Montreal Expos season was the 14th season in franchise history. They finished 86-76, 6 games back of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League East.1984 San Francisco Giants season
The 1984 San Francisco Giants season was the Giants' 102nd season in Major League Baseball, their 27th season in San Francisco since their move from New York following the 1957 season, and their 25th at Candlestick Park. The team finished in sixth place in the National League West with a 66-96 record, 26 games behind the San Diego Padres.1985 Los Angeles Dodgers season
The 1985 Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League West before losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. Fernando Valenzuela set a major league record for most consecutive innings at the start of a season without allowing an earned run (41).1991 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1991 followed the system in place since 1978.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected three, Rod Carew, Ferguson Jenkins, and Gaylord Perry.
The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.
It selected two, Tony Lazzeri and Bill Veeck.1996 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1996 followed the system in use since 1995. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players but no one tallied the necessary 75% support.
The BBWAA had petitioned the Hall of Fame Board of Directors on January 5, 1995, to reconsider the eligibility of Larry Bowa, Bill Madlock, Al Oliver and Ted Simmons, each of whom had failed to receive at least 5% of ballots cast in each of their first years of eligibility (Bowa and Oliver in 1991, Maddlock in 1993 and Simmons in 1994). The Board approved, but before the ballot was released, the BBWAA decided not to include them on the ballot after all.
The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and selected four people from multiple classified ballots: Jim Bunning, Bill Foster, Ned Hanlon, and Earl Weaver.Brad Corbett
Bradford Gary Corbett (October 15, 1937 – December 24, 2012) was the owner of the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball's American League from 1974 to 1980. Corbett was born in the Bronx in 1937. After spending a semester at Siena College, he transferred to Wagner College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1960. He was later part owner of S&B Technical Products, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. Originally from Long Island, New York, Corbett made a fortune in the oil business by producing and selling plastic PVC piping. He had moved to Fort Worth, Texas in 1968 and within two years had become a millionaire at the age of 32 after first securing a $300,000 Small Business Administration loan. In 1974 he bought the Rangers from owner Bob Short. Serving as (in effect) his own general manager, he quickly set about spending a great deal of money on free agent players. This was during the advent of the free agency era and soon Corbett had signed such high-priced players as Bert Campaneris, Doyle Alexander, Doc Medich, Richie Zisk and Mike Jorgensen and traded for expensive talent like Bobby Bonds, Al Oliver and Jon Matlack.
Despite never making the postseason, Texas finished in second place three times under Corbett’s ownership. The ’77 club won 94 games, the most in team history until 1999. The Team's winning percentage under him was .521, better than the winning percentages under most owners. He cried openly after the Rangers lost on July 4, 1977 and told the assembled news media, "I'm selling this team because it's killing me! They are dogs on the field and they are dogs off the field." Corbett fired three managers in the six seasons that he owned the Rangers. Corbett inherited Billy Martin as his first manager when he purchased the team from Martin's personal friend, Robert Short. Martin became upset with Corbett's interference with his managing in 1975, thus prompting Martin to state, "You know as much about baseball as I do about pipe" ).
In 1980 Corbett sold the team to oil producer Eddie Chiles.
He died at his home in Fort Worth in December 2012.List of Major League Baseball annual doubles leaders
Major League Baseball recognizes doubles champions in the American League and National League each season.List of Pittsburgh Pirates home run leaders
List of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise home run leaders with 40 or more home runs.(Correct as of March 20, 2019)List of Texas Rangers team records
The Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team has played in Arlington, Texas, since 1972. The team began in 1961 as the Washington Senators, an American League expansion team based in Washington, D.C., before relocating to Texas. This list documents players and teams who hold records set in various statistical areas during single games, entire seasons, or their Rangers' careers.National Lampoon's Golf Punks
Golf Punks is a 1998 film starring Tom Arnold as an out-of-work golf pro, who gets pulled into teaching the game to a group of young golfers at a public course.Philadelphia Phillies all-time roster (N–O)
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The team has played officially under two names since beginning play in 1883: the current moniker, as well as the "Quakers", which was used in conjunction with "Phillies" during the team's early history. The team was also known unofficially as the "Blue Jays" during the World War II era. Since the franchise's inception, 2,006 players have made an appearance in a competitive game for the team, whether as an offensive player (batting and baserunning) or a defensive player (fielding, pitching, or both).
Of those 2,006 Phillies, 33 have had surnames beginning with the letter N, and 26 beginning with the letter O. One member of this list has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; pitcher Kid Nichols played two seasons for the Phillies (1905–1906). No Phillies players with surnames beginning with N or O have been inducted into the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame; however, Paul Owens was a team manager, general manager, and executive from 1972 to 2003. No members of this list hold franchise records, nor have any numbers been retired for them.Among the 33 batters in this list, Lefty O'Doul has the highest batting average, at .391; he played for the Phillies during the 1929 and 1930 seasons. Other players with an average over .300 include Lou Novikoff (.304 in one season; the only player whose surname begins with N to bat over .300), Dink O'Brien (.333 in one season), and Al Oliver (.312 in one season). Ron Northey leads all members of this list with 60 home runs and 273 runs batted in; among players whose surname begins with O, O'Doul leads with 54 and 219, respectively.Of this list's 28 pitchers, three share the best win–loss record, in terms of winning percentage: Red Nelson, Jerry Nops, and Eddie Oropesa each have a 1.000 winning percentage, Nelson having won two games and lost none, and Nops and Oropesa each winning one game without a loss. Al Orth, in his seven seasons as a Phillies, accumulated 100 victories and 72 defeats, tops in both categories on this list; among pitchers whose surname begins with N, Nichols' 10 wins and Dickie Noles' 11 losses are highest. Orth and Noles also lead their respective lists in strikeouts: Orth with 359, and Noles with 133. Roy Oswalt's 1.74 earned run average (ERA) is the lowest among members of this list; of the pitchers whose surname begins with N, Nichols' 2.83 ERA is best.One player, Jack Neagle, has made 30% or more of his Phillies appearances as a pitcher and a position player. He amassed a 1–7 pitching record with a 6.90 ERA while batting in four runs as a left fielder.Silver Slugger Award
The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.The prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three left fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. In addition, only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include a designated hitter in place of the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead.Home run record-holder Barry Bonds won twelve Silver Slugger Awards in his career as an outfielder, the most of any player. He also won the award in five consecutive seasons twice in his career: from 1990 to 1994, and again from 2000 to 2004. Retired former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez are tied for second, with ten wins each. Rodriguez' awards are split between two positions; he won seven Silver Sluggers as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, and three with the Yankees as a third baseman. Wade Boggs leads third basemen with eight Silver Slugger Awards; Barry Larkin leads shortstops with nine. Other leaders include Ryne Sandberg (seven wins as a second baseman) and Mike Hampton (five wins as a pitcher). Todd Helton and Albert Pujols are tied for the most wins among first baseman with four, although Pujols has won two awards at other positions. David Ortiz has won seven awards at designated hitter position, the most at that position.