Ben Oglivie

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Benjamin Ambrosio Oglivie Palmer

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Biographical Information[edit]

Ben Oglivie, the 1980 American League home run champion, had a 16-year major league career with three teams. The bulk of his career was spent with the Milwaukee Brewers, and he was part of the 1982 Brew Crew that went to the 1982 World Series. He was born in Colon, Panama, as was his contemporary Manny Sanguillen.

Oglivie broke into the majors at age 22 with the Boston Red Sox in 1971, a team that had Carl Yastrzemski and Reggie Smith playing two of the three outfield positions. Other youngsters on the team who looked for playing time included Carlton Fisk, age 23, and Cecil Cooper, age 21. After three years with the Red Sox, Oglivie began to get more playing time when he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Dick McAuliffe before the 1974 season. As he aged into his late 20s, he started to show more power.

After 1977 he was traded again, to the Milwaukee Brewers, where he would spend the rest of his major league career. He slugged over .500 in both 1979 and 1980, but it was in 1982, when he hit 34 home runs and made a diving, rally-killing 8th-inning catch in game 162, that his Brewers went to the 1982 World Series. After his final season in Milwaukee in 1986, he spent two seasons in Japan with the Kintetsu Buffaloes, hitting well. In 1989, Oglivie played for the Winter Haven Super Sox of the Senior Professional Baseball Association.

His 235 lifetime home runs put him (as of 2019) at 266th on the all-time list, tied with Bill Nicholson, Johnny Damon and Dan Uggla, and one homer ahead of Carlos Gonzalez, Gary Matthews, Paul Molitor and Kevin Mitchell.

Oglivie was a coach for the El Paso Diablos in 1993 and Calgary Cannons in 1995 and 1997. He was a coach for the Hickory Crawdads in 1999, then spent time coaching in the San Diego Padres system including the Eugene Emeralds in 2003 and 2005. Oglivie was a coach for Vero Beach Devil Rays in 2007 and Montgomery Biscuits in 2008. He joined the Detroit Tigers organization as hitting coach of the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2011.

He was elected to the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its 2012 class.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 3-time AL All Star (1980, 1982 & 1983)
  • AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1980)
  • AL Home Runs Leader (1980)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 4 (1977, 1979, 1980 & 1982)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 2 (1980 & 1982)
  • 40-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1980)
  • 100-RBI Seasons: 2 (1980 & 1982)

Related Sites[edit]