Courtesy of The Portsmouth Daily Times, Portsmouth, OH
By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
Former Major League great Al Oliver has had a love affair with two cities for a number of years.
The first one is the one he was born in, Portsmouth, Ohio, and the second one is where he got his Major League start in 1968, Pittsburgh, Pa., home of his second family, the Pittsburgh, Pirates.
On July 25, at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Oliver was honored with his own bobblehead event.
“Back in January, when I was in Pittsburgh for the Pirates Fan Fest, someone had mentioned to me that they had planned on having a series of bobbleheads for the Pirate Lumber Company,” Oliver said. “They sent me some information out on it, and I OK’d it.”
But that OK didn’t come right away. Oliver said he received a sample of his bobblehead, and he noticed something missing right away.
“I said, ‘You guys left my sideburns off’. Because that was one of my trademarks back then. And so I said, ‘no problem,’ and they asked me what month, and I told them July,” Oliver said.
Oliver decided it would not be considered a big deal locally, so he didn’t tell anyone about it at first.
“I told Wayne Kempf, who was president of Kiwanis at the time, that I wouldn’t be here on that particular week because I would be in Pittsburgh for Bobblehead Night,” Oliver said. “So lo and behold, behind my back the Kiwanis got together and chartered a bus.”