Womack: Collusion hurt Al Oliver’s Hall of Fame case; can he still get in?

From SABR member Graham Womack at The Sporting News on March 14, 2017:

In January 1995, Al Oliver finally got paid for 1986.

The former National League batting champion had last played in 1985, unable to get a contract for the following season. But on Jan. 10, 1995, arbitrator Thomas Roberts ruled that collusion by Major League Baseball had cost Oliver and nine other players jobs in 1986. Roberts awarded Oliver $680,031.05.

For Oliver, the stakes were high when he lost his livelihood. Oliver stalled out at 2,743 hits and a .303 lifetime batting average. A few months past his 39th birthday heading into the 1986 season, it’s conceivable Oliver could’ve reached 3,000 hits by his early forties.

“I could easily have DH’d another four or five years without any problems at the rate that I was going and the condition I was in,” Oliver, 70, told Sporting News in a recent phone interview from his Ohio home.

Read the full article here: http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/news/al-oliver-stats-hall-of-fame-case-montreal-expos-mlb-collusion-1980s/7z0ej4s05c7p1ljnk7srsawtt

Originally published: March 15, 2017. Last Updated: March 15, 2017.