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Cementing Tony O’s legacy in Cooperstown

Laura Resler, Cooperstown, Owatonna,
Laura Resler, left, poses with former Minnesota Twins player Tony Oliva at a Twins game. Oliva will be inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on Sunday, July 24. Submitted photo
Area couple to head to Hall of Fame ceremony
Johnnie Phillips, Sports Editor

After finishing his playing days in 1976, Minnesota Twins legend Tony Oliva – commonly referred to as “Tony O” by fans – will finally receive baseball’s highest honor by being inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Oliva received a 75% “yes” vote on his induction polls to finally cement himself in baseball history as one of the game’s greatest players.

Headed out to Cooperstown to witness Oliva’s induction are Nathan and Laura Resler, friends of Oliva’s and lifelong Twins fans.

“I don’t know what to expect, but it’s just one of those experiences that I’m looking at as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To be able to witness someone that we’ve followed for a while throughout his career and been fortunate enough to build a little bit of a relationship with earn the highest honor in the sport, it’s a really cool feeling,” said Nathan Resler.

According to Resler, he and his wife were fortunate enough to meet Oliva and get to know him after attending multiple Twins events for athletes and fans.

“I always say that we’re fortunate to know him because he really is a special guy. I mean, he’s a Minnesota sports legend and you can just see it in everyone’s faces when they run into him. People just kind of gravitate toward him.”

Also joining Oliva at his induction is his younger brother, Juan Carlos, who received a visa to visit the United States from Cuba with help from Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar.

“I want to celebrate Tony’s incredible career, where he’s come from and where he has brought us: American League Rookie of the Year in 1964, three batting titles… a spot of course in the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame, a statue at Target Field and playing in the 1965 World Series,” said Klobuchar. “All of these things are amazing but I think what will be a moment that I know Tony will never forget is being there with his whole family, including his cherished brother, when he gets inducted into the Hall of Fame.”

Oliva’s day in Cooperstown will begin at 12:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, July 24 when he will be recognized and give a speech to the crowds attending the event.

Minnesota sports fans will be able to watch their eight-time all-star player and twice World Series champion as a member of the Twins’ staff add another accomplishment to an already legendary career.

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