Tony Oliva has been snubbed by the Hall of Fame for almost 30 years now. But he has a real shot this year. In early December the Veterans Committee will consider Oliva among the 10 candidates for induction.
You can help!
The website VoteTonyO.com is spearheading a letter writing campaign to convince the Veterans to give Oliva his due. Go to the Vote Tony O website, and you’ll find the addresses for the Veterans Committee members, including Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Tommy Lasorda, and Brooks Robinson. It will only take a little bit of your time (and a few stamps) to do your part to help.
Will it work? I don’t know, but it can’t hurt. And hey, deep down inside, haven’t you always wanted to write a letter to a legend like Hank Aaron?
If you aren’t sure why Tony O should be in the Hall of Fame, let me refresh your memory. First, you can read this piece I wrote last week about Oliva’s candidacy. You should also check out Vote Tony O’s website and read some of the stories they have on the site. Those stories prove that Oliva has always been a friendly and charismatic person in addition to being a great player. He certainly has the character and integrity required of a Hall of Famer.
A lot of people say that Oliva would have put up Hall of Fame numbers if it hadn’t been for his 1972 knee injury. I think he already did reach HOF level achievements – the case would only have been stronger if he hadn’t been hurt. By my count, there are 10 players who have won three or more AL batting titles: Harry Heilmann, Nap Lajoie, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, George Brett, Rod Carew, Wade Boggs, Joe Mauer, and Oliva. Other than Oliva and Mauer (who is obviously still active), ALL of them are in the Hall of Fame. Oliva not only led the league in hitting three times, he also led in doubles five times and hits five times.
So whether you’re a Twins fan, an Oliva fan, or just a person who enjoys watching the game’s truly great players, please do your part to put this titan of Twins history into the Hall. He should have been there long ago.