February 7, 1986 |
Al Oliver, a .303 lifetime hitter who played with seven major league teams over 18 seasons, including the Dodgers for part of last season, officially announced his retirement from the game Thursday at the age of 39. Oliver has a meeting scheduled with Commissioner Peter Ueberroth today to gain support for a suicide-prevention project in which Oliver is involved.
October 13, 1985 |
When the Kansas City Royals summon their ace relief pitcher to come in and save one for the home team, the Royals Stadium scoreboard notes his entrance with an electronic flash: "Quisenberry--One of a Kind." A little hometown hype? Certainly. But around the American League, that opinion doesn't generate much argument. Dan Quisenberry comes equipped with accessories that don't conform to the major league norm.
September 14, 1985 |
Fathers take children to see Phil Niekro pitch for the first time, and the kids say: "Hey, he's even older than you." Women see him pitch for the first time, and they say: "Hey, even I could hit that." Phil Niekro is 46 years old, and his knuckleball has three speeds: Slow, slower and suspended animation. But he is still in there pitching. He did not win his 300th game Friday night, despite going the distance against the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays.
March 31, 1985 |
In all the long history of major league baseball, only 15 players have ever gotten 3,000 or more hits. They are all household names, a roll call of legends--Ty Cobb, Pete Rose, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Nap Lajoie, Willie Mays, Honus Wagner, Tris Speaker. Sometime this season, they will be joined by a 16th, Rod Carew. The game will be stopped, TV crews will come onto the field, ceremonies will be held, and the ball will be sent immediately to Cooperstown, there to await the arrival of its hitter.
March 5, 1985 |
By now, Al Oliver figured, he'd be taking curtain calls, like Rose and Yaz and Carew, the other great .300 hitters of his generation, biding his time until they hung up his plaque in Cooperstown. Instead, now playing for his fourth team within a year, Oliver sat in a beachside coffee shop here Monday morning and offered to produce a character witness who would testify that the world had failed to appreciate Al Oliver for what he was and what he has done. A world that had done him wrong.
February 7, 1985 |
The Dodgers, who have had a penchant for making deals that fall apart at the last moment, apparently have avoided a breakdown in their trade for Al Oliver. Agent Howard Mandel said Wednesday that Oliver and the Dodgers have resolved the contractual problems that held up team's acquisition of the lifetime .300 hitter from the Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher Pat Zachry. "I don't expect any snags," said Mandel, adding that the deal should be official within the next 24 hours.