Monday, March 05, 2007

RIP Gene Oliver

If you were a Giants fan in 1962, the name Gene Oliver is burned into your memory. After the Giants had beaten the Houston Colt 45s on the last day of the season 2-1 on a Willie Mays homer in the 8th, Oliver came up in the 8th and homered for St. Louis to beat the Dodgers 1-0 in LA. and force a 3-game playoff.

The Giants had been 4 games out with seven to go. The Dodgers lost 6 of the last 7 in one of the biggest chokes in history, then blew a 2-run lead in the 9th at home to lose the final game of the playoff. The monumental gagging was overshadowed two years later by the Phils blowing a 6.5 game lead with 12 games left.

Anyhow, this story out of Iowa makes it seem like Gene Oliver was a pretty decent guy, on and off the field. I'm not surprised, given the huge part he played one of the most glorious seasons for the Orange and Black. At any rate, he was a decent hitting catcher in the early to mid 1960s at a time when pitchers were starting to dominate the game. Best season for Oliver was probably with the Braves in 1965 with 21 HRs and 58 RBIs in 392 ABs.


Blogger El Person said...

Ha ha. Choking Dodgers. Hee hee.

8:07 PM  

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