Thursday, November 5, 2015
no. 470 - bob oliver
Who is the man: Bob Oliver enjoyed the best season of his career in 1970, setting career highs in virtually ever category.
Can ya dig it: Another action-packed Royals card (this is the sixth one). If I collected as a kid in 1971, I would have fallen in love with this one.
Right on: I even like the signature on this card. It has everything -- except you can't see the bat.
You see that cat Oliver is a bad mother: Oliver hit the first grand slam in Kansas City Royals history. It was on July 4th against the Seattle Pilots' Jim Bouton.
Shut your mouth: When Oliver was with the Angels in 1973, he told Jet magazine that what the team needed was "a black superstar" to draw fans. (The nearby Dodgers drew many more fans and featured several standout black players). Oliver didn't consider himself that superstar, but the Angels had just acquired an almost over-the-hill Frank Robinson from the Dodgers and he thought Robinson was that guy.
No one understands him but his woman: Oliver's son is Darren Oliver, the longtime lefty pitcher. Darren Oliver said that his mother, Hazel, worked a 9-to-5 job when Darren and his brother were kids. But when they played school sports, their mom was always there to watch.
(A word about the back): Oliver's first major league appearance may have been in 1965 (three whole games), but he didn't make a return to the majors until 1969.