February 13, 2007
On the way home from work today, I heard a familiar name and voice coming from my XM radio. Some great stories and memories were being shared by Al Oliver on MLB Home Plate.
Al was on the ballot for Hall of Fame honors in 1991, unfortunately he did not receive the minimum number of votes required to stay on the ballot. This was a travesty and yet another example of why the vote should be revamped.
Al Oliver, affectionately called "Scoops", had 2,743 hits. Those 2,743 hits rank third, behind Pete Rose and Rod Carew, for that 18 year time period that encompassed his career.
Al's career was cut short in 1986 due to the widely publicized collusion issues in MLB. His career was cut short before he reached 3,000 hits, even though he was still very productive. As proof there was plenty of gas left in the tank, in 1984 he batted .303 before he was forced to platoon in 1985.
He was a career .303 hitter, one of six players between 1950 and 1991 to bat over .300 with more than 9,000 plate appearances. Four of the other five are in the Hall of Fame, the other should be: Rod Carew, Roberto Clemente, George Brett, Hank Aaron, and Pete Rose.
Al is now eligible to be elected by the veterans committee. Even though he should never have had to wait for the veterans committee, it is now time for the veterans to correct a major oversight by the baseball writers.
For more information on Al Oliver, some great quotes and ways to help Al get enshrined, a long overdue honor, please visit Al Olivers Official Home Page.