Saturday, November 29, 2014

2015 Golden Era HOF Ballot: Tony Oliva

The 16-person Golden Era Committee will have the opportunity to vote for Tony Oliva to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.  Oliva lasted 15 years on the BBWAA HOF ballot between 1982-1996.  The closest he ever came to HOF induction occurred in 1988, when Oliva received over 47% of the voter's approval.  Oliva played all 15 of his major league seasons with the Minnesota Twins from 1962-1976.  He won the A.L. Rookie of the Year award in 1964, and was the runner-up for the A.L. MVP award in 1965 and 1970 (years in which his team made the playoffs).  Oliva led the league in Batting Average (3x), Hits (5x), and Doubles (4x) during his career.  He also led the league in Total Bases, Runs, and Slugging.  Oliva made the All-Star team in 8 consecutive years.  Oliva appeared during all 7 games of the 1965 World Series and all 3 games of each of the first two ALCS's against the Orioles in '69 and '70.  His career .304 batting average is most notable among his body of work accomplishments, falling short on the typical triple crown categories.  Perhaps Oliva falls a little short in HOF qualifications, but out of the 10 eligible names, he's one of my Top 3.  Here are all of the regular-issue Oliva cards in my collection (missing '63, '65, '69).
 
1964 Topps
 

1966 Topps


1967 Topps


1968 Topps

 
1970 Topps
 
 
1971 Topps
 

1972 Topps


 1973 Topps


1974 Topps


1975 Topps


1976 Topps


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