Thursday, May 8, 2014

no. 290 - tony oliva

Who is the man: Tony Oliva really was the man at this point, enjoying one of the finest runs of his career. He would win the American League batting title in 1971 by hitting .337, the best single-season average of his career.

Can ya dig it: Oliva looks remarkably young on this card, and really on most of his cards.

Right on: Love the Twins uniforms from this time period.

You see this cat Oliva is a bad mother: Oliva was the first player to win Rookie of the Year honors and the American League batting title in the same year. In fact, he was the first Cuban player to win rookie of the year or a batting title.

Shut your mouth: Oliva didn't receive a lot of attention despite his ability. And he wasn't one to draw attention to any discrimination. To this day he is often overlooked.

No one understands him but his woman: There was quite a bit of confusion about who Oliva actually was when he was signed by the Twins. To speed his way out of Cuba, he used his brother Pedro's paperwork and arrived at camp known as "Pedro Oliva." It took him a long time to shake the name "Pedro" and he eventually legally changed his name to Pedro Oliva Jr. Quite frankly, while reading up on Oliva, I'm still confused by the circumstances, what actually happened and what his name actually is.

(A word about the back): 1970 would be the last time that Oliva would lead the league in hits.

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