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BASEBALL'S BEST KEPT SECRET , written by native Pittsburgher Andy O'Toole, covers the ups and downs of Al Oliver's life before, during and after his remarkable 18-year career with the Pirates, Rangers, Expos, Giants, Phillies, Dodgers and Blue Jays.
The book reveals many intimate insights into life in the big leagues as Al interacted with greats such as Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Andre Dawson and many others. He candidly discusses the strengths and weaknesses of his various teams, racism, Cooperstown and the many unique happenings in the baseball world during his playing years.
Al's book first appeared last year during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first season, leading the publisher to appropriately comment, "Al Oliver examines racism in baseball, beginning with the upper management of the game.. to the media covering the sport...down to the fans of the National Pastime. Al has seen and experienced the biting hand of racism." This story stands as "the story of the second generation of African-American baseball players and the hurdles he and his peers encountered."
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
"The purpose was just to tell his story. He's frustrated because people don't know him or what he did. They don't know that he left(baseball) by collusion and they can't believe that he only got 19 votes for the Hall of Fame."From the Inside Flap:
Al Oliver's story is one of an individual working within, and for the betterment of, a family, a community and in the context of his professional baseball career, a team. Al's story is about those teams...it is about the minor leagues he played in where he fell together with many young men being groomed for advancement to the Pittsburgh Pirates. One special event symbolized another aspect of his story. On a September evening in 1971, Al, along with eight of his teammates, made baseball history as they became the first all-Black starting lineup in the history of the game.
Al was born in October, 1946, just six months before Jackie Robinson broke major league baseball's color line. While Oliver was growing up in Portsmouth, Ohio, men such as Sam Jethroe, Hank Thompson, Curt Roberts, and Pumpsie Green became the first African-Americans on their respective teams. The pioneering efforts of these men and their contemporaries helped tear down numerous deterrents confronting Blacks during the fifties and early sixties.
Still, in 1964, when Oliver signed his first professional contract, many racial barriers remained. Al's story is also the story of the second generation of African-American baseball players and the hurdles he, and his peers encountered.
In BASEBALL'S BEST KEPT SECRET, Al Oliver examines racism in baseball...beginning with the upper management of the game...to the media covering the sport..down to the fans of the National Pastime. Al has seen and experienced the biting hand of racism.
Following a decade with the Pirates, Al had the opportunity to play with several other major league teams. His travels took him to places such as Texas and Montreal, where in baseball's backwaters, Oliver enjoyed the most productive years of his sterling career only to be overlooked by the scribes following the game.
In the end, Al found he is not a member of an ambiguous team, that which hires their own to creates a payroll of people who don't play baseball, but work in baseball. Oliver has made numerous attempts to join that team since his retirement as an active player only to be denied access each time.
Today Oliver lives in his hometown of Portsmouth, disillusioned with the game he served so well.
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Book Description City of Champions, 1997. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0964931168