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A Tribute to Tony Oliva


Curt DeBerg

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I've recently written a short story paying tribute to Tony Oliva and to my favorite author. Here's a blurb. I think readers of Twins Daily will find it to be of interest! Thanks....Curt

 

Ernest Hemingway and Tony Oliva

A Tale of How the Great Writer Helped the Great Ballplayer

 

What do you get when The Old Man in the Sea meets Field of Dreams? You get an inspirational story by Curtis L. DeBerg. This charming little tale, only 58 pages long, is a tribute to two men: Ernest Hemingway, the great writer, and Tony Oliva, the great ballplayer for the Minnesota Twins. Oliva was formally inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame on July 24, 2022.

In the summer of 1960, Hemingway was sixty years old and in failing health. He and his fourth wife, Mary, were forced to leave their bucolic estate southeast of Havana, next to a little village called San Francisco de Paula. For nearly twenty-two years, the Hemingways had made the Finca Vigía their home base, but now, under pressure from the U.S. government, they vacated their beloved, fourteen-acre property.

Meanwhile, Tony Oliva was playing baseball for his country team in the Pinar del Río province in western Cuba. By professional baseball standards in the United States, he was over the hill. Hardly anyone over the age of twenty would attract the attention of baseball scouts. Oliva was nearing his twenty-second birthday. A scout for the Minnesota Twins recognized his talent, but he needed to "fudge" Oliva's age in order for the Twins to sign him. This could only be accomplished with some inside help.

Did Papa Hemingway and Tony Oliva ever cross paths before leaving Cuba? Did the great writer help the great ballplayer forge the identity on his passport and travel visa? It could have happened. This story is part yarn, part fantasy and part truth. It is left to the reader to decide which parts are true and which are fiction.

 

A perfect book for readers who love The Old Man and the Sea! See http://curtdeberg.com

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My favorite Tony O memory is from his last year in the bigs when in a few road games he was in the starting lineup as the second baseman batting in the top three just to get him an at bat before being replace defensively in the bottom of the first. Only happened a handful of times but I'll never forget.

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15 minutes ago, dxpavelka said:

My favorite Tony O memory is from his last year in the bigs when in a few road games he was in the starting lineup as the second baseman batting in the top three just to get him an at bat before being replace defensively in the bottom of the first. Only happened a handful of times but I'll never forget.

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