09-06-2012, 02:57 PM #1
Why Isn't Tony Oliva in the HOF?
Maybe he is a little borderline, but I think he's more qualified than many others currently inducted.
09-06-2012, 03:06 PM #2
In a word, injuries.
If he were able to do what he did early in his career consistently for another, say, 5 years, he's a shoo-in. As is, his effective career was just too short. Of course, he's a hall of famer in my mind!
09-06-2012, 03:09 PM #3
Also, I think you're right that he's more qualified than others inducted. Including, dare I say it?, Bert Blyleven, who is example number 1 of the hall voters' bias toward longevity.
Look at Oliva's stats from 1964 to 1971: http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl...livato01.shtml
Dude was a baseball machine. After his legs gave out, though, he had a lost season in 1972 and never found a way to be as effective.
One final thought: this is what worries me about Joe Mauer's HOF candidacy. He was lights out for roughly as many seasons as Oliva. Can his legs last?
09-06-2012, 03:13 PM #4
You could also argue his career lasted too long. He played 15 season, which in most voters mind is a full career. Had his blown out knee ended his career after his specatacular first ten seasons, he probably would have been considered with other players who's career was cut short by injuries like Sandy Koufax and Kirby Puckett. He likely would have been a shoe in had he never stepped back on the field after the 1971 season.
Last edited by nicksaviking; 09-06-2012 at 03:36 PM.
09-06-2012, 03:22 PM #5
Beause after living in the US for 40 years he still can't speak English.
09-06-2012, 03:57 PM #6
Injuries and a lack of respect for the DH in the early days of the position. If he could have eeked out even two more above average seasons, I think he'd be in the HoF right now.
09-07-2012, 07:31 AM #7
09-07-2012, 08:53 AM #8
Tony O is my favorite ball player of all-time. There is no way to be impartial here.
He is HOF. The guy was so great. As 70charger said, "a baseball machine".
I saw him play. I talked to him. I love him.
09-07-2012, 09:21 AM #9
It is interesting. His 8 year peak is about as good as Tim Raines 8 yr peak (although their value was amassed in different ways) but Oliva started old - his first real season was age 25 and after his injury, he was basically over. Raines was able to play 12 years after his 8 year peak and compile some better career numbers.
09-07-2012, 09:22 AM #10
Did you see him announce the twins pick (Buxton) at the MLB draft last year, I thought he said "Baseball Baseball." Seriously, I know more of what Sano is talking about when he speaks Spanish than when Tony speaks English...and I don't speak Spanish.
09-07-2012, 09:25 AM #11
Who cares about his English? It certainly has no impact on his HOF voting or how good of a baseball player he was.
09-07-2012, 09:55 AM #12
09-07-2012, 11:09 AM #13
I have to weigh in since he is my all-time favorite baseball player from my childhood. He had some great years - I would love for him to make the HOF but I don't see it happening. Undoubtedly the injuries cost him.
09-07-2012, 11:30 AM #14
How can Tony Oliva not be in the Hall of Fame? Only player to lead lg in hitting 1st 2 yrs in lg, 3 time Bat Champ, ROY64, 8 time AS,hits leader 5 times, dbls 4 times, 5 times hit 22+ HRs, and once each led league for runs scored, total bases, & SFs. Runnerup MVP twice and Lifetime .304 BA. I also saw him play. This guy was great. Made himself a great fielder with a cannon arm. He did enough. He should be in.
09-07-2012, 01:37 PM #15
HOF voters tend to discount players who start out with a bang and keep it up for 6-8 years, then fizzle out (even if due to injury). Fred Lynn's another one, who was neck and neck with Jim Rice when he came up and was considered the more electric of the two, yet Rice is the one who made it in.
The pitching-heavy era Oliva played in works against him now, if there were some kind of new movement to put him in. Voters don't look at OPS+, they just look at BA and HR totals and compare to guys in other eras without compensating for it.
I didn't live in MN during Oliva's heyday so I don't have the personal connection to his candidacy that some do, but I see him as a clear choice for induction. He's not an inner circle guy, but seems on a par with Jim Rice, Eddie Murray, Paul Molitor.
09-07-2012, 02:27 PM #16
Good question, and one that hasn't really received as much discussion as it should. Tony had a great bat, good speed, power, excellent throwing arm. 3 batting titles (of all eligible players, only Bill Madlock (4) has as many titles and is not in HOF), 2 second place finishes in MVP voting (and 5 top-10 finishes), made the all-star team in each of his first 8 full seasons, during which he never finished lower than 8th in batting average. While looking at this, I found one item very telling: He spent his entire career playing for the Twins, and usually batting 3rd ahead of Harmon Killebrew. In his first 12 years (8 before destroying his knees), 9 times he placed in the top 10 in the league in intentional base on balls. (Interestingly, 3 of those occurred after his career-diminishing 1972 knee injury.) If we judge a player by the standards of the era in which he played, this is a strong indication that, clearly, American League pitchers feared and respected him for a very long time.
Is Tony-O a hall of famer? In my mind he always has been, but I can see differences of opinion on the matter. Just don't let anyone try to convince you that he wasn't close.
09-07-2012, 06:08 PM #17
If Oliva were a middle infielder, a C or a CF he might have had a case to be a borderline candidate. Got to compare with other corner OFs turned DH. And he is just not there. Remember, it is a cumulative acknowledgement. He had less that 2000 career hits, less than 1000 career RBIs, less than 300 career HRs. These numbers are not even close.
Here is a test:
These are the numbers of his teammate Bob Alison. These and these are the numbers of 2 borderline hall of famer OFs of pretty much the same era who just barely made it. These are the numbers of another borderline OF who did not make it.
Whose numbers are Tony's closest to?
Last edited by thrylos98; 09-07-2012 at 06:16 PM.-----
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
09-07-2012, 08:29 PM #18
In Tony's prime yrs (64-71), his average yr was 147gms .313/.360/.507 89runs 35doubles 6triples 22HR 90RBI 63k 41bb
Pretty solid all star yrs, but just dont think those numbers scream HOF, but I hope he gets it. Defintatly robbed by the injury
09-07-2012, 08:55 PM #19
It's also a bit of a stretch to say those three played in the same era. Oliva's last great year was 71. Evans and Rice didn't really start having their peaks until the late 70s to mid 80s. The lg OPS for both of them for their career was about .740 to Oliva's .715.
I think Oliva had a HOF type peak and, if he was put into the HOF, it wouldn't be an embarrassment. That said, if guys like Oliva and Evans are outside looking in, it gives a pretty good dividing line for the HOF.
09-08-2012, 12:37 AM #20