Access Minnesota

12 August 2015

Career and Legacy of Minnesota Twins Player Tony Oliva

For the week of August 16, 2015

Thom Henninger is an Associated Editor at Baseball Digest; he discusses his new book “Tony Oliva: The Life and Times Of A Minnesota Twins Legend.”

  • Part 1

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    (1:12) The 50th anniversary of the 1965 Minnesota Twins team that won the American League pennant; (1:55) Henninger grew up a Twins fan; (2:15) Why Henninger wanted to write a book on Tony Oliva; (4:00) Oliva won the batting title three times in his career; (4:50) How Oliva compared to his contemporaries in the 60s and 70s; (6:10) The Bay of Pigs Invasion prevented Oliva from returning home to Cuba; (7:30) Henninger’s research on Cuba and US relations for the book; (8:19) Oliva’s life in Cuba; (9:39) Oliva’s first experience with racism in the US; (10:33) The book chronicles the struggles many Cuban players experienced after the borders closed; (11:40) Owner Calvin Griffith’s connections to Cuba; (12:11) How Henninger approached the subject of Oliva’s feelings of isolation at the time

  • Part 2

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    (:18) Oliva’s injuries during his career and why so many baseball players in the 1960s played through injuries; (1:33) Oliva’s time as a hitting coach for the Twins and his work with Kirby Puckett; (3:20) Why Oliva remains a fan favorite still today; (4:12) Oliva’s famous sense of humor; (5:17) Why Oliva is not in the hall of fame and whether he has a chance in the future; (6:55) How renewed US/Cuban relations will affect baseball and add to the number of Cuban players in the US; (7:44) Oliva’s return trips to Cuba; (8:26) Why Oliva’s career is relevant to baseball fans today; (9:50) Learning to play baseball on a farm; (11:26) Oliva’s lasting friendships in baseball
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