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Tony Oliva

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  • JR Hart
    replied
    Oliva is clearly a HOFer. I grew up in northern South Dakota and watched Twin road games on TV. Oliva raked. His 64-71 run was incredible. His OPS+ was 141 before his injury. Plus he should have been up about 3 years earlier. He ripped up the minors and the Twins didn't bring him up until age 25. Had a great case for MVP his rookie season.

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  • Fuzzy Bear
    replied
    I would hope that Harold Baines's selection will result in Tony O getting another shot. Tony O was a GREAT player before his knee injury took its toll.

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  • jalbright
    replied
    Originally posted by Cowtipper View Post
    Like the McCormick thread, these could be combined.

    http://www.baseball-fever.com/showth...ighlight=Oliva

    Sorry, I just have a "thing" about find two different threads about the same person, when one will suffice.
    I endorse that thinking, and it helps keep the older parts of the discussion alive. My biggest concern is with active players, but even then, I tend toward keeping them together.

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  • henrich
    replied
    Like a few others that emphasize career length and numbers Oliva falls short at the RF position scoring 8381 in H-Factor. He's ahead of current player Reggie Sanders and behind shawn Green.

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  • Cowtipper
    replied
    Like the McCormick thread, these could be combined.

    http://www.baseball-fever.com/showth...ighlight=Oliva

    Sorry, I just have a "thing" about find two different threads about the same person, when one will suffice.

    Oliva played his career during the second deadball era, and yet he still had a batting average of .304, a home run total of 220, and a .476 slugging percentage. His 131 OPS+ is nice, as is his list of accolades: eight All Stars in 15 seasons, a Gold Glove, a Rookie of the Year Award.

    He has Hall of Famer black ink and grey ink.

    I don't know...I'm leaning towards a "he should be in the Hall" stance.

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  • abolishthedh
    replied
    Thanks, Cap, for sparing me the discussion over Edgar because he is a different discussion altogether.

    I don't think there is a stigma attached to Oliva in any way, while there are various stigmas attached to the comparison player that I volunteered. Oliva was overlooked because of Killebrew, because he played in a much smaller media market, and because his career was too short to overcome these matters.

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  • Captain Cold Nose
    replied
    I'd ask you about Edgar Martinez, abolish, but I think that answer lies in your user name.

    I'm not sure the multiple-team can really be treated as a hindrance, especially now, when there is far more money to throw around (thanks, Cable TV) than there ever has been. The circumstances now are certainly different than even 20 years ago.

    Remember, Babe Ruth did play for three times. I don't think this is that much of a stigma. However, genuine superstars stay with one team, for the most part, during their peak performance period. It's not that much a coincidence all those players played for one team. They were the man there, in an era there was no free agency, and it would have taken a lot to change venues.

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  • abolishthedh
    replied
    Originally posted by Calif_Eagle View Post
    Playing for just one team (Ott, Yaz, Kaline, Yount, Musial, Koufax, Drysdale, Jackie Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Ted Williams, many many others too; I know.) lifts you onto a different plane than the player that is traded around a lot. It gives a player an aura of higher value than he might otherwise have without it. Imagine how SOME (obviously not Ted or Stan) of those listed above might have been perceived had they played for 4 teams. My opinion anyway, although as always; I'd love to hear the BBF community weigh in on this thought.
    This is a good point, and relevant considering the best comparison I can think of to Oliva: Bill Madlock. Maddog had 4 batting titles and still isn't in the Hall either!
    However, its worth noting that he was a very average fielder who played on multiple teams.

    Basically, batting titles and solid offensive numbers don't spell the Hall of Fame if the numbers are compiled over 15 years or less for multiple teams. That's why so many players of recent years won't get anywhere near the Hall.

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  • Calif_Eagle
    replied
    I like Oliva for the Hall, mainly as a "gut feeling" pick, not based purely on stats and numbers and SABRmetrics etc... I liked him as a young Cleveland Indian fan in the 60's and 70's, when I remember the genuine fear with which the Tribe's TV broadcast team regarded him every time he stepped to the plate against us. Only Killebrew was given the same (or probably greater) respect among Minnesota Twin hitters, by our TV team. I know thats a dumb (well, illogical anyway) *basic* reason, one which will be widely derided by the statisticians among the BBF community. But the man DID win 3 batting titles, was an All-Star, did show above average power at the plate and was a very good player. As was stated above, he started late and finished (sort of) early although probably even without the knee injury he would have been on the decline by the mid 70's. Regarding Vada Pinson, I have always felt that had he played his entire career for just ONE team, he'd have long been in the HOF. I feel the same way about Bobby Bonds. Playing for just one team (Ott, Yaz, Kaline, Yount, Musial, Koufax, Drysdale, Jackie Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Ted Williams, many many others too; I know.) lifts you onto a different plane than the player that is traded around a lot. It gives a player an aura of higher value than he might otherwise have without it. Imagine how SOME (obviously not Ted or Stan) of those listed above might have been perceived had they played for 4 teams. My opinion anyway, although as always; I'd love to hear the BBF community weigh in on this thought.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fuzzy Bear
    replied
    Originally posted by leecemark View Post
    --Minoso is not a Hall of Famer himself, although he does get more support than Oliva. Minnie's case is also partially bolstered by his pioneering role as the first player to face both the color and language barrier. Oliva's career started late for a great player, but that is really the only similarity between he and Minoso. Oliva was probably the better player at their respective bests, but Minoso had better health and was a good player much longer (hey he was still good enough to play into his 50s ).
    If I am correct, Oliva has been determined to be older than he was during his playing career. I remember Oliva's birthdate as being 1940 or 1941, but now it is listed in all the sources I checked as 1938. Oliva's website confirms that he was believed to be 21 when he was signed in 1961, and there was reluctance to sign him because of the belief that he was too old. Had they known he was 23, he might have (A) not been signed at all, or (B) started at a higher minor league and moved to the majors faster. Oliva was one of the greatest 25 year old rookies of all time; most 25 year old rookies are long term minor leaguers or late blooming college players who are at their peak. Oliva broke in at his peak, but his peak was at the very top of the AL.

    I might give Oliva credit for time in Cuba and the minor leagues in something of the same vein that Ichiro Suzuki will get credit. Given Oliva's REAL age, which is now known, his career is NOT that short; it's that he had a late start, due, in part, to factors beyond his control. His minor league numbers suggest he was ready for the majors almost from the day he signed, and if his real age had been known, and he had been signed, he MIGHT have been given a major league job as early as 1962. I think he was ready for the majors then, and he would have hit over .300 both in 1962 and 1963, adding even MORE depth to his career. I don't give Oliva slack for the knee; that was a consequence of playing. I DO give him some slack for his late debut; it was beyond his control, and might not happen today.
    Last edited by Fuzzy Bear; 06-24-2007, 05:00 AM.

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  • leecemark
    replied
    --Minoso is not a Hall of Famer himself, although he does get more support than Oliva. Minnie's case is also partially bolstered by his pioneering role as the first player to face both the color and language barrier. Oliva's career started late for a great player, but that is really the only similarity between he and Minoso. Oliva was probably the better player at their respective bests, but Minoso had better health and was a good player much longer (hey he was still good enough to play into his 50s ).

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  • Fuzzy Bear
    replied
    Tony Oliva was, arguably, the best player in the AL in 1964-65. He SHOULD have won the MVP in 1965. His 1968 season, where he hit .289, needs to be taken in context; Yaz won the batting title at .301 and the entire AL hit .230 that year. Oliva hit 59 points ahead of league.

    Black Ink: Batting - 41 (35) (Average HOFer ≈ 27)
    Gray Ink: Batting - 146 (96) (Average HOFer ≈ 144)
    HOF Standards: Batting - 29.0 (282) (Average HOFer ≈ 50)
    HOF Monitor: Batting - 114.0 (122) (Likely HOFer > 100)
    Overall Rank in parentheses.

    Oliva's Black Ink and Gray Ink totals are well within HOF norms; his black ink is ABOVE the average HOFer. He scores low in HOF standards because his career was short and he didn't have the benefit of racking up career stats, but he played to a decent age.

    Oliva got a late start. He was 25 as a rookie and he turned 26 in the middle of July of his rookie season. He was probably ready for the majors at least a year before he got a regular job, probably more than that. His case is somewhat similar to Minnie Minoso's, in that he's missing games on the FRONT end of his career, not of his doing, moreso than on the back end. He's a peak value HOFer, IMO, and the argument for him is much the same as the argument for Minoso.

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  • Freakshow
    replied
    I like to compare Oliva to a contemporary NL outfielder, Vada Pinson. IMO, I'll take Pinson in a heartbeat.

    The NL was very much the stronger league in the 1960's. You look at the list of NL outfielders of the time and you understand why Pinson wasn't making many all-star teams or leading the league: Mays, Aaron, Clemente, F. Robinson, B. Williams, Flood. Meanwhile, Oliva's competition was Yastrzemski, Kaline, Howard and Horton.

    Per win shares (which doesn't adjust for league strength), Pinson's peak performance was every bit as good as Oliva's. Schedule-adjusted top seven years:

    TO 33-30-28-27-25-25-23
    VP 34-31-28-26-24-24-22

    They were very similar hitters: good average, low walks, decent power. But Pinson had much more speed and was a better glove. Then when you consider in-season durability and career longevity it tilts heavily to Pinson.

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  • KCGHOST
    replied
    Oliva was a fine hitter who had too short a career. His fifteen seasons translates into 11.5 seasons of actual availability. His counting numbers for a corner OF/DH are simply well short of the mark. Hits < 2K, HR's < 250, RBI's < 1000, and runs < 1000. The problem is despite the quality of his production his actual production is too low.

    If you look at WARP3 and RCAA, two career evaluating metrics, you will see the problem. Oliva has 280 RCAA which is very good. A HoFer should have 400+. In WARP3 Oliva has a score of 65. A bona fide HoFer should have 120.

    To induct Oliva someone has to argue that we have to start giving guys credit for being injured. The voters will rarely do this and in most cases it is because the problem is deemed a medical misfortune as opposed to something that occurred from the rigors of playing the game.

    Take some time to compare Oliva to another short career Twin Kirby Puckett. Despite Oliva's qualitity advantages, Puckett had 2300 hits, 1000+ rbi's, and 1000+ runs. He also had a large perceived value as a defender. And his injury was perceived as bad luck (some kind of eye malady that screwed up one of his retinas). The voters did elect to project out what Puckett would have done had he remained healthy.

    I will say this. I saw Tony Oliva play from Day One in the bigs and for his first eight full seasons he was a monster. Had he been able to post another five years at that level you would be able to visit his plaque in Cooperstown.
    Last edited by KCGHOST; 06-28-2007, 08:11 AM.

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  • Erik Bedard
    replied
    He has a 131 career OPS+. Not all that bad.

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