Tony Oliva Dominated American League Pitcher for a Decade!

October 30, 2014

For his first eight full big league seasons, few in baseball could conceive of a better hitter than Tony Oliva.

For his last five years, eight knee operations gradually robbed Oliva of his marvelous skills. But no injury could remove Oliva’s impression from those who saw the left-handed line drive master at his peak.

“He was as good as any hitter of his time… Better,” said Lou Piniella.

Oliva, who played 15 big league seasons for the Minnesota Twins, is one of 10 finalists on this year’s Golden Era ballot that will be considered by the committee on managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The 16-person committee will vote at baseball’s Winter Meetings in San Diego, Calif., and the results of the vote will be announced Dec. 8.

The 10 candidates on the Golden Era Committee ballot are: Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant, Maury Wills and Oliva. Any candidate who is named on at least 75 percent of all ballots cast will be inducted in the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2015.

The Golden Era Committee consists of The Golden Era Committee consists of Hall of Famers Jim Bunning, Rod Carew, Pat Gillick, Fergie Jenkins, Al Kaline, Joe Morgan, Ozzie Smith and Don Sutton; baseball executives Jim Frey, David Glass, Roland Hemond, and Bob Watson; and veteran media members Steve Hirdt, Dick Kaegel, Phil Pepe and Tracy Ringolsby.

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