And here is Tony Oliva, a man with a statue at Target Field.
8 All Star Games-Other players with 8 All Star Games:
Nolan Ryan (!)
Bob Feller (!)
Bob Gibson (!)
1964 Rookie of the Year
Finished in the MVP balloting 8 times, finishing in the top 5 3 times.
1966 Gold Glove
Finished in the Top 10 in Batting Average 8 times, 7 of those top 3, 3 Batting crowns
Finished in the Top 10 in Slugging % 7 times, leading in 1971
Finished in the Top 10 in Runs 5 times, leading in 1964
He lead the league in Hits 5 times. People who did at least that: Ty Cobb, Tony Gwynn, Pete Rose, Ichiro Suzuki. That’s a nice list to be on.
He led the league in Doubles 4 times. People who did at least that: Stan Musial, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner, Ed Delahanty, Nap Lajoie, Hank Aaron Pete Rose & Rogers Hornsby. That’s another nice list to be on.
Top 10 in RBI’s 6 times, highest finish was 3rd.
He appeared in 3 postseasons, hitting an average of .314.
The Hall of Fame Monitor lists his score at 112. A Hall-of-Famer is at 100.
His numbers is retired for the Twins with names like Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew & Kirby Puckett. He has a statue in the Twins’ baseball stadium Target Field.
Oliva’s best season in HOF voting was 1988. He came in at 3rd place that year. Willie Stargell was elected that year. Jim Bunning was in second and would later go on to election. BELOW Oliva were two future HOFer’s: Orlando Cepeda & Bill Mazeroski.
Why he doesn’t:
Oliva had 8 great years. Are 8 years enough?
His career numbers aren’t that great. 1,917 hits. That ties him with Carlos Beltran for #308. 870 runs puts him at #466. 329 Doubles puts him at #316. 220 home runs puts him at #256 on the all-time list. 947 RBI’s puts him at #320. None of those numbers stand out to me.
If you look at similar batters, you see Gus Bell, Aubrey Huff & George Bell, not a single HOFer among them.
All in all… So just like I looked at Minnie Minoso expecting to keep him out, I’m finding the opposite here with Oliva. I go back and forth between thinking him worthy and not. His career numbers are not good, but did he do enough during those 8 years to make up for what he could have been?