After spending twenty-two years in professional baseball — eighteen of those in the Major Leagues — I am now prepared to move on to a more challenging goal: working with people in our society and the world for a better quality of life.
Combined with my early life experiences growing up in southern Ohio supporting a twelve-year-old brother and a younger sister, and my long career as a professional athlete, I have been instilled with great confidence, the value of sharing, and a strong sense of responsibility.
Nourished with a strong belief in God and strict discipline, I was taught as a youth to be a self-motivator. My parents set a standard of high self-esteem, and urged me to quest for a high and ethical standard of living. Unfortunately, I lost my mother when I was just eleven-years-old, and neither of my parents lived long enough to see me carry out their hopes. September 14, 1968 is the day I found out I was being called to the Major Leagues. Ironically, on the same day, I lost my Dad.
The loss of my parents also gave me first-hand experience in dealing with the challenges of raising children. I “parented” my pregnant teenage sister, and a younger brother who suffered from anger, depression and unresolved grief at the premature loss of our parents.
During my travels as a professional athlete, I have also seen the problems and needs of various people and cultures. I have seen the damage to sports programs, schools, and homes that drugs, teen pregnancy, teen suicide, juvenile delinquency and a host of other family crises, cause.
Although I was able to prevail in a highly-competitive career with consistency while maintaining the high standards and self-esteem, my parents forged in me — I never hesitate to set aside time for people who need motivation and encouragement. People need hope, and individuals who are concerned and willing to try, can make a difference.
I KNOW that I can make a difference through al-oliver.com, Al Oliver Enterprises, Inc., and as a dynamic public and motivational speaker — but mostly, through my desire to remain an achieving individual, with faith and with the heart to help others – the values my parents gave me.