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Famous Quotes

From Larry Hisle - former major leaguer and teammate

"There is not doubt about it that Al got shortchanged in the Hall of Fame vote. I don't think there is any way that every player in the Hall of Fame was better than Al. I know there is more taken into consideration than hits, lifetime average, runs scored. He put together quite a career. I can't help but think that if he would have played in a market like New York or Los Angeles, voting would have been different. Because of the markets he played in he didn't receive the recognition he deserved. People in the game clearly knew that if you wanted somebody in the batter's box to hit the ball hard...get Al Oliver."

From Jon Miller

"He, (AL Oliver), was such a great hitter. Richie Zisk and Doc Medich who had known him in the past both told me early in '78, "There might be guys who put up a better average, say Rod Carew, or hit more home runs, or drive in more runs, but absolutely nobody hits the ball as hard, day after day, as much as he does."

In all my years since, I don't remember anybody who could match him in terms of pure hitting. I still believe that he's the best out-and-out pure hitter that I've ever seen. He used to hit what was called , at'em'balls. He led the league every year in at'em'balls. Line shots right at them."

"Al Oliver definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. What he's got 2,700 plus hits right? Right away he's got to make some sort of short list of people being considered. I'd like to hear some compelling reasons as to why you wouldn't put him in there.

Richie Asburn is going in now and it took a long while for him to get there. How many hits did he have? Al was probably under appreciated in all his years in Pittsburgh because he was an outfielder/first baseman who didn't hit with a lot of power. People are used to guys in those positions who hit 30 home runs. Al was usually a guy who hit 15-20 homers.

When you consider the fact that he was asked to move around a lot, and because he did that, I think it detracts a little from the Hall of Fame voting because they're used to Hall of Fame candidates being "outfielders", or "infielders" and Al played both because he was agreeable to it. They would say, "Here's what we need Al." and Al would say, "O. K."

To me Al's a Hall of Famer.."

From Bobby Bragen

"Al Oliver would be critcized because he did not have a good throwing arm. He didn't throw well so you might say he wasn't a complete ballplayer. A fellow who can hit, run, hit with power, and have the desire to play...he had it all. But he did have what you could classify as a weak arm, but so did Richie Ashburn.

If you're in the media and you're looking for a fault, I think that's something to fall back on, "A guy can't run, " or "a guy can't throw," something negative to keep him out. In my book Al Oliver belongs in the Hall of Fame. When I think of him, I close my eyes and think of three line drives in each game that he played."

From Dusty Baker - Manager of the Chicago Cubs

"The media is of a white mind and a white attitude, and their outlook on what's OK and what's not OK. But you can't really worry about the media and how you are portrayed. One thing about Al was that Al might have been portrayed as cocky, but one thing they could never write about Al is that he mistreated anyone.

If you are strong and confident, people tend to gravitate toward you and what happens is you end up getting a bad rap as far as like telling the truth, and "stirring up the natives." That's part of the reason that a lot of strong, confident guys are run out of town"

He (Al) would never curse. He'd say, "Shoot." He sounded like he was 15 years old.

"People thought he was so serious but this guy loved to laugh. He could crack you up. Al appears so serious all the time but he has a good heart, and he means well. He's one of the few guys who, once he was out of the game, he stayed in contact. Most guys when they're out of the game disappear. I don't know if it's out of shame, anger, or bitterness. But Al, he has a big, big heart."
From Jim Fanning - Manager of 1982 Montreal Expos

"You talk about a hitter! I've never, ever in my life seen a man hit the ball so hard, so often. We all know how many hits he got because that's all recorded. What isn't recorded is all the line drives that were caught. He was a marvelous hitter in 1982, a fantastic hitter. He hit left handers and right handers. As a hitter, Al ranks up there with anybody. The year I witnessed him, I never saw a better hitter in one season. He hit everything on the nose, all the time."
From Tom Henke - former major league player

"Al was one of the most positive men I've ever been around. He always had signs up, little positive sayings around. His influence was nothing but a positive one on everybody. I don't think I ever heard a negative word come out of his mouth.

Al contributed to the team not only with his leadership, but he could still hit. He was a good ballplayer for us. Al got a lot of hits for us, he got some big hits for us in the playoffs. He was definitely instrumental in helping us win the division, and although we lost, he had a real good series in the playoffs. From what I saw there was no question he could still play the game in '85, he could still contribute."

From Manny Sanquillen

"Al was a good guy. Leo Durocher said, "Nice guys finish last." Scoop was never into alchohol or drugs. He was clean cut. They need people like him in the game, in the front office.

I think the color of his skin might have something to do with it. I'm from Panama; I don't have a problem with race. I like everybody and that's in my heart. That's one of baseball's biggest problems. You have to be two-faced to be in baseball and Al's not like that.
From Bill Denehy

"I have never seen anybody in my life, in the eleven years in which I played in the major and minor leagues hit more line drive outs than Al did. I think if half of those outs fell in, we'd be talking about one of the greatest hitters who ever lived."
From Dave Guisti

"Scoop was a tremendous athlete, there's no question about that. I thought that he would have some trouble out there, because this is a new position for him. The one thing I did notice was, although he was angry that he had to move away from his favorite position, I think he took it upon himself to work as hard as he could to make himself a good center fielder.

He was like Clemente in a way. He did not want to look bad out there regardless, in any situation. So he worked his tail off to become a very good center fielder.
From Al Oliver

"LIFE'S A HIT, DON'T STRIKE OUT."

From Al Oliver

"I've always characterized myself as LOW PROFILE, HIGH PERFORMANCE"

From Al Oliver

"There's no such thing as bragging, either you're lying or you're telling the truth."

From Al Oliver

"Some people are afraid to take chances in life, but I always say, failure is not fatal."

From Al Oliver

"For years I've always had the philosophy that the cream always comes to the top, and naturally you have some critics that say, what if it curdles? Well my answer to that is, if you have talent, it does not curdle."

From Al Oliver

"I've learned through association, not necessarily my own doing, that the best high in the world is being high on life ."


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