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Bob Oliver
First baseman
Born: February 8, 1943 (1943-02-08) (age 66)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 10, 1965 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
July 3, 1975 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Batting average     .256
Home runs     94
Runs batted in     419
Hits     745
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • First Royal to collect six hits in a nine-inning game (May 4, 1969)

Robert Lee Oliver (born February 8, 1943 in Shreveport, Louisiana) is a former first baseman and outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1965), Kansas City Royals (1969-72), California Angels (1972-74), Baltimore Orioles (1974) and New York Yankees (1975). He batted and threw right-handed.

Contents

Minor Leagues

Oliver lettered in baseball and basketball at Highlands High School in North Highlands, CA, a suburb of Sacramento. After graduating in 1961, Oliver played baseball at American River College where he was heavily scouted. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates before the 1963 season, Oliver played in the Pirates' farm system for four seasons (with a late call-up in 1965, during which he made his major league debut). He was traded to the Minnesota Twins and spent two more seasons in the minor leagues.

Major Leagues

Oliver made the majors for good in 1969, having been selected by the Kansas City Royals in the previous October's expansion draft. Playing on a young team that also included fellow rookies Pat Kelly and Lou Piniella (the eventual American League Rookie of the Year), Oliver batted .254 with 13 home runs and 43 runs batted in in 118 games played. That year, Oliver achieved two firsts in Royal history: 1) He was the first Royal to collect six hits in a nine-inning game (only two other Royals, Kevin Seitzer in 1987 and Joe Randa in 2004, have since accomplished this feat) with a 6-for-6 performance in a May 4 victory over the California Angels, and 2) he hit the Royals' first-ever grand slam, the shot coming off Jim Bouton in the first game of a July 4 doubleheader against the American League's other 1969 expansion team, the Seattle Pilots.

1970 was a breakout year for Oliver; he established career highs in home runs (27) and RBIs (99) and runs scored (83). He enjoyed two more solid seasons in 1972 (during which he was traded to the California Angels), batting .269 with 20 home runs and 76 RBI, and 1973, batting .265 with 18 home runs and 89 RBI while splitting his time as a utility player. In his career, Oliver batted .256 with 94 home runs and 419 runs batted in, in 847 games played.

Son in "the Bigs"

Oliver's son Darren is currently a relief pitcher with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Both father and son were one-time teammates of Nolan Ryan—Bob from 1972 to 1974, and Darren as a rookie with the Texas Rangers in 1993, Ryan's final major league season.

External links

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