Sunday, December 30, 2018

1981 Topps Al Oliver

The front: Great action shot, with what looks to be the distinctive red fences of Milwaukee County Stadium. Oliver had one hit, a double, in ten at-bats in two day games against the Brewers in 1980.

The back: Oliver’s impressive hitting statistics take up the whole back.

The player: A lifetime .303 hitter, Oliver hit over .300 for nine straight seasons, from 1976 to 1984. He was a seven-time all-star, and hit 219 HR over his eighteen year career, reaching 20 twice. He retired after the 1985 season after no-one signed him, which he claims was due to collusion. He has said that if allowed to sign with another team, he would have gotten 3000 hits and would thus have made the Hall of Fame. However, in 1986 he was going to be 39 years old, was 257 hits away from 3000, and had only 197 in the previous two years. So his odds of getting to 3000 if he signed somewhere in 1986 were still quite slim.

The man: He is now a licensed minister and the Chairman of Deacons at Beulah Baptist Church in his hometown of Portsmouth, OH.

My collection: I have 38 of his cards, from 1969 to 1986. I would be interested in trading for 1970 Topps #166, 1972 Topps #575 and 1975 Topps #555.

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