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Minoso or Oliva?

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  • Minoso or Oliva?

    Who would you rank as the better all-around player: Minnie Minoso or Tony Oliva?

    These are two of my all-time favorite players, and they do have some things in common:
    * Both were born in Cuba (Minoso 11-29-1922; Oliva 7-20-1938)
    * Both had career shortened due to cause outside their control
    * Both were great hitters

    Minoso made his MLB debut in 1949 (9 games) but his official Rookie year was 1951. In his day a black player had to be outstanding -- not just typical MLB player --to get on a Major League Roster.

    Due to this standard, Minoso was 28 years old when he had his official rookie year. His rookie year, Minoso hit .326 with .500 Slg. Average.
    Minnie never won a batting title. He finished #4 in MVP voting 4 times.
    Minoso won 3 gold gloves. He was an exciting player who often made spectacular catches -- and was an excellant baserunner.
    He was selected for 9 ASG (two games in 1960).
    Over his 17 MLB seasons, Minoso hjit .298 with .389 OBP and .459 SA.
    He led AL in slugging % in 1954 (.535)
    Minoso retired in 1964 at the age of 41, but he returned for brief appearances in 1978 and again in 1980.

    - - - - -
    Oliva was born 7-20-1938 in Pinar del Rio, Cuba.
    His MLB debut was i;n 1962 (9 games) but his official rookie season was 1964 when at age 25 his was voted AL Rookie of the Year. In his rookie year Tony led the AL in runs, hits, doubles and Batting Average.

    Tony had two very different MLB careers: before his serious injury early in 1972 season, and the fouir seasons after that injury.
    From 1964 thru 1971, Tony had a batting average of .313 (best in the AL).
    Over those first eight seasons Tony also led the AL in hits (1455 for Tony vs. 1313 for #2 Brooks Robinson in those same 8 seasons).

    He also led the AL in extra-base hits (ten ahead of #2 Yastrzemski) and in doubles. He was also the AL leader in slg average and second to Yaz in runs scored over those seasons.

    But that leg injury in 1972 changed everything. He could no longer play the outfield but due to the new DH rule he was still able to hit. From 1973 until his retirement in 1976 Tony hit .277 (ranking 30th in the AL for those four years). But even with no chance for infield hits he was still a feared hitter, drawing 41 intentional walks (fifth-best in the AL for those 4 seasons).

    Tony is credited with 15 MLB seasons (but only 12 seasons of more than ten games).
    His career BA was .304 with .353 OBP and .476 Slg Average.
    Oliva was voted to 8 ASG teams (each of his first 8 MLB seasons).
    He won three Batting Average titles and 41 Black Ink records (all before the 1972 injury).
    His black ink total ranks #35 all-time.
    He retired after the 1976 season at age of 37, but with a ravaged and painful body.

    So which of the two do you choose as the better player?
    Minnie Minoso
    Tony Oliva
    No difference -- I rate them even
    Last edited by Appling; 02-04-2008, 09:15 AM.

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