The former Milwaukee Braves catcher would've turned 78 today.
On this day in 1935 Gene Oliver was born in Moline, Illinois. He made his major league debut as a member of the 1959 Cardinals and played several seasons in St. Louis before being dealt to the Milwaukee Braves following the 1963 season in the deal that sent pitcher Lew Burdette to the Cardinals.
Oliver had a career year with the Braves in their final season in Milwaukee in 1965, playing primarily at catcher and hitting .270/.336/.482 with a career-high 21 home runs. Amazingly, those 21 homers were only the sixth highest total on the Braves:
At the time this Braves team was one of just three in major league history to have six 20 HR hitters on the same team.
All told Oliver played 786 games in the majors as a member of five teams.
- 2012 AZL Brewer Jose Sermo, who turns 23.
- 1999-2000 Brewer Sean Berry, who turns 47.
- 1979-80 Brewer Dan Boitano, who turns 60.
- Racine, Wisconsin native Eric Rasmussen, who turns 61. He played eight major league seasons between 1975-83 as a member of the Cardinals and two other teams.
- 1973 Brewer Carlos Velasquez, who would have turned 65.
- 1970-71 Brewer Dick Ellsworth who turns 73. We covered his birthday in this space last year.
- 1953 and 1955 Milwaukee Brave George Crowe, who would have turned 92.