Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates , Frank Coonelly , Rick Saccone , Donald Trump , Kellyanne Conway , Pirate Parrot , Major League Baseball , Delta Foundation , LGBTQ , Family Research Council , Syrian refugees , Roberto Clemente , Dan Hart , Image
In advance of the September 30 release of his new autobiography, former Pirates slugger Al Oliver will sign copies of Life’s a Hit, Don’t Strike Out Saturday at the Majestic Clubhouse store in PNC Park from 1 p.m. to 2:30 PM and from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Oliver joined the Pirates in 1968 before being traded in 1977 to the Texas Rangers. He’s a lifetime .303 hitter and collected more than 2,700 hits. The book examines his life in baseball and his struggles to be an everyday player despite hitting .300 in 13 of his 18 seasons, being named to seven all-star teams. It also deals with the racism he dealt with in the game, particularly early on in his career. Today Oliver is a motivational speaker and advocate for children, seniors and veterans.
Oliver talked to City Paper by phone Thursday prior to his return to Pittsburgh this weekend.
What made you decide to write an autobiography?
When Alfred [Adams of VIP Ink Publishing] first called — he saw me in an interview on one of the spiritual channels and he told me he thought I had a super career and that he thought my story might be bigger than my career. I thought about it for a week and decided it might not be a bad idea. People might know of someone but not know them. I’ve gone through a lot of things in my life and wanted people to know more about Al Oliver. My story shows that regardless of who you are and where you come from, you can make it. A lot of our young people today, for example, have a lot of talents but don’t use their gifts because they weren’t brought up in proper households to believe that they can make it. A lot of them get detoured off the highway and onto the service road, as I like to say. Detours happen to everyone, but you have to just gas that car back up and get back on the highway. Everyone detour.
It's been a banner year for Pirates slugger Andrew McCutchen: The center fielder helped steer the team to the playoffs for the first time this century, ranked near the top of the National League in batting average and stolen bases, and was voted NL MVP. But it doesn't stop there
The American Music Awards, taking place Sunday night, unveiled its cast of presenters today, and it includes musicians (2Chainz, Michael Bolton), actors (Alicia Silverstone, Zoe Saldana), TV personalities (the folks from Shark Tank) and ... Cutch!
Barring any surprise guests — and some are promised — McCutchen is the only athlete on the docket. (Unless you count former soccer player Juan Pablo Galavis, who is only gonna be there because he's The Bachelor.)
The show airs at 8 p.m. Sunday night, Nov. 24, on ABC.
In this week's special Pirates issue, I wrote about local band Gene the Werewolf rewriting the '70s Pirates anthem, Sister Sledge's "We Are Family," to reflect the current Bucs club. Below, you'll find that tune and some classic Pirates-related songs, to get you pumped for this weekend's all-important, home-field-determining series against the Reds.