Roy Maxwell “Max” Alvis (February 2, 1938-) had his career and life nearly derailed by a case of spinal meningitis in 1964 while he was enjoying an 18 home run year. He lost six weeks to the illness. The following seasons, Max returned to have career highs in RBI (61) and stolen bases (12) while batting .247 with 149 hits and earning his first of two All-Star appearances. Alvis played third base for nine seasons with the Cleveland Indians (1962-1969) and the Milwaukee Brewers (1970). Max Alvis collected 895 hits including 142 doubles, 421 runs, 111 home runs and batted .247 in 1,013 career games. He also posted a .956 fielding percentage with 962 putouts, 1,693 assists, 144 double plays and 123 errors in 2,773 chances.
Edward Emil Kranepool (November 8, 1944-) spent his entire 18-year Major League Baseball career with the New York Mets (1962-1979) — a team he signed with as a 17-year-old free agent. Called up late in the 1962 season, Kranepool after spent half the 1963 campaign in the minors, before ultimately winning the job as Mets’ first baseman. By 1964, he was hitting .257 with 45 RBI. The next season, he was selected to his one and only All-Star Game, and finished the year with a .253 batting average and a career high 133 hits. After winning a World Series ring in 1969 with the Amazin’ Mets, Kranepool slumped through much of the 1970 campaign, but bounced back in 1971, batting .280 with 14 home runs, 58 RBI, and leading the National League in fielding percentage (.998). Kranepool went on to bat .300 in consecutive seasons (1974, 1975), and after having moderate success as a pinch hitter late in his career, retired with a .251 batting average, 118 home runs, and 614 RBI. He also holds a variety of franchise records, including having played more games in a Mets uniform (1,853) than any other player as well as the most seasons (18), and was the club’s all-time leader in eight offensive categories including at-bats (5,436) and sacrifice flies (58). Kranepool pool also was the last of the original 1962 Mets to remain with the team, and the last of that team to retire from the big leagues.
Tony Pedro Oliva (July 20, 1938-) won the Silver Louisville Slugger award in his first years in the minors as he batted .410 with the Wytheville Twins and became the only player in MLB history to win the batting title in each of his first two full seasons in the Major Leagues. In his rookie season, Oliva led the American League in runs (109), hits (217), doubles (43), batting average (.323) and total bases (374), won the 1964 AL Rookie of the Year award, earned his first All-Star appearance and finished fourth in AL MVP voting. Oliva won the batting title again in 1965, led the league in hits a second time and finished second in AL MVP voting. Tony Oliva played his entire career with the Minnesota Twins (1962-1976), led the American League in runs once, hits five times, doubles four times and added a third batting title in 1971 (.337). Oliva was a perennial candidate for the Most Valuable Player award finishing in the top 20 eight times in his 15-year career and five times in the top ten. Tony was named to his first eight MLB All-Star Games, passing Joe DiMaggio’s record of six. Tony O’s career was cut short due to nagging knee injuries finishing with 1,917 hits including 329 doubles and 220 home runs, scored 870 runs, drove in 947 RBI and batted .304 over his 15-year career. He also posted a .975 fielding percentage with 2,332 putouts in 2,464 chances.