Game 81: A Tony Oliva biography

Review of Thom Henninger's book for Twinkie Town blog.

Tony Oliva by Thom HenningerOlivia, 22, had been in America less than two weeks. (Born Pedro Olivia, he used his brother Antonio's birth certificate to get a passport, as Pedro's certificate had been lost.) Now it looked like anyone who returned to Cuba would not be allowed back in America. Give up your entire world of family and friends, for a dream which didn't seem very promising? Olivia's first instinct was to go home. Twins minor-league lifer Minnie Mendoza helped convince Oliva to keep trying. (Mendoza helped a lot of immigrant players, not just those on his teams; Reds HOFer Tony Perez, to name one.)

At heart, Henninger's book is about the stress these decisions caused Olivia and other Cuban-born players in America. Older Twins followers or team history buffs will recognize names like Pascual, Valdespino, Becquer, Tovar, and more. 

Read the full review.

Published in: Twinkie Town/SB Nation
By: James Fillmore