Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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Tony Oliva

2015 Veterans' Committee HOF Ballot: Tony Oliva

The Baseball Hall of Fame recently announced their 2015 Veterans' ballot. One player on the ballot is Tony Oliva.

The first table below presents Tony Oliva's career as measured by Player won-lost records.

Tony Oliva
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1962MIN23
8
0.40.20.6520.1
0.1
0.40.20.6930.10.1
1963MIN24
7
0.30.30.4960.0
0.1
0.20.10.5640.00.1
1964MIN25
161
20.817.40.5440.8
2.3
23.518.80.5561.33.0
1965MIN26
149
22.514.80.6043.0
4.5
21.816.50.5701.83.3
1966MIN27
159
22.518.30.5511.2
2.7
22.217.70.5561.32.9
1967MIN28
146
21.017.40.5470.9
2.6
20.916.70.5571.32.9
1968MIN29
128
18.915.40.5521.1
2.5
19.515.10.5641.63.0
1969MIN30
153
22.618.70.5460.8
2.6
22.118.30.5470.82.5
1970MIN31
157
26.018.10.5893.2
5.1
23.819.40.5511.53.4
1971MIN32
126
17.916.50.5200.1
1.4
18.615.80.5410.82.2
1972MIN33
10
0.71.10.401-0.2
-0.1
0.91.00.471-0.1-0.0
1973MIN34
146
13.712.80.5170.4
2.1
12.311.80.5090.21.8
1974MIN35
127
9.910.90.478-0.5
0.7
10.210.50.492-0.21.0
1975MIN36
131
9.710.70.476-0.6
0.6
10.110.30.497-0.21.1
1976MIN37
66
2.32.90.438-0.3
-0.0
2.02.90.411-0.4-0.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,674
209.3175.50.54410.0
27.2
208.7175.10.5449.826.9
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
13
1.82.00.466 -0.12.51.60.607 0.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,687
211.0177.50.544
27.2
211.2176.80.544 27.5


From 1964 - 1971, Tony Oliva led the American League in hits 5 times, in doubles 4 times, in batting average three times, and in runs scored, total bases, and slugging percentage once each. Oliva made the All-Star team and received MVP votes in all eight of those seasons, including two second-place MVP finishes (in 1965 and 1970). In terms of traditional statistics and awards, that is certainly a Hall-of-Fame peak.

Unfortunately, Oliva suffered a serious knee injury in 1971 from which he never fully recovered. The introduction of the DH in the American League allowed him to hang around through 1976, but he played his last game in the outfield in 1972 and, after ending the 1972 season with a career batting average of .313, he never batted .300 again, with his batting average declining every season from 1973 (.291) through 1976 (.211).

The next table shows the players most similar to Tony Oliva from ages 25 - 32, which, for Oliva were the 1964 - 1971 seasons.

Wins over Baseline
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Batting Baserunning Pitching Fielding
Tony Oliva
1179
172.3136.811.1
23.7
10.30.40.05.2
Minnie Minoso
1188
182.7143.512.8
26.0
10.70.80.03.8
Al Kaline
1089
155.2122.310.1
21.2
11.60.70.03.8
Bobby Grich
1052
136.6115.314.2
23.9
8.20.30.05.2
Ken Boyer
1213
161.0137.89.3
21.2
8.20.60.03.5
Roberto Clemente
1194
181.6146.89.9
23.1
10.20.60.03.2
Toby Harrah
1176
148.7127.513.2
23.9
7.71.10.04.5
Jim Edmonds
1043
137.9112.911.8
22.0
9.20.20.04.0
Brooks Robinson
1263
169.7139.612.5
24.9
4.60.60.05.8
Graig Nettles
1253
159.5136.49.9
21.7
5.30.20.05.1
Reggie Smith
1090
151.4121.910.1
21.0
11.30.30.02.7


The above table features three Hall-of-Famers - Kaline, Clemente, and Robinson - and nine players who have been elected to the Hall of Merit (everybody except for Toby Harrah).

On the one hand, this list certainly hints at what Tony Oliva might have done were it not for the knee injury. On the other hand, Oliva's prime is actually relatively short on both ends. For example, Al Kaline was a Hall-of-Fame level player at ages 20-24, ages which are not included in the above table.

The next table removes the lower age limit and identifies the players most similar to Tony Oliva through age 32 (as measured by Player won-lost records).

Wins over Baseline
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL Batting Baserunning Pitching Fielding
Tony Oliva
1194
173.0137.211.2
23.9
10.40.30.05.2
Roger Maris
1362
179.9142.711.6
24.6
10.60.30.05.0
Andy Van Slyke
1469
181.7151.910.7
23.3
8.50.50.04.2
Ken Boyer
1360
177.6153.79.4
22.6
8.10.60.04.0
Paul Waner
1259
195.3160.210.2
25.0
10.70.30.04.7
Jim Edmonds
1155
148.5123.811.4
22.5
8.70.20.04.6
Minnie Minoso
1197
183.2144.312.7
25.9
10.70.80.03.8
George Foster
1295
179.8141.413.7
26.3
12.40.40.03.6
Fred Lynn
1300
173.2148.311.0
23.4
12.40.20.03.4
Evan Longoria
1435
179.9153.512.9
25.5
8.80.00.05.3
Bernie Williams
1383
183.5162.510.5
24.4
10.1-0.10.03.3


That is probably a more accurate set of comparisons to Oliva's pre-injury career. This list still includes four players in the Hall of Merit, including one Hall-of-Famer (Paul Waner).

Tony Oliva was very, very good at his best. But was his best long enough?



All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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