Last updated: August 16. 2014 1:00PM - 739 Views

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Chris Slone


Portsmouth native and former major league batting champion Al Oliver is preparing for the next chapter of his life as his new book, Life Is A Hit, Don’t Strike Out: The Al Oliver Story, is set to hit the market on September 30.

Along with the official release date being announced, two official books signings have already unveiled, which will occur on September 30 at Buffalo Wild Wings in Portsmouth from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m., and at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on September 13 before a game with the Chicago Cubs.

There are a couple of more signings in the works for Oliver but nothing as been made official as of now.

As far as the book is concerned, Oliver admitted he had a troubled past and faith helped him reach the other side.

“My goal out of this book; whoever reads this book, whoever is having their ups and downs, their trials and tribulations, storms in their lives, you can come through it by having faith,” Oliver said. “And that is what this book is mainly going to be about. The human and spiritual side of Al Oliver … “

Being a sports figure, many people know Oliver by name but the embroiled athlete knows most people don’t know the entire story — until now.

“A lot of people know of Al Oliver but most people don’t know Al Oliver,” he said. ” … That was the reason I did it. It was a perfect time to do it. It gives people an idea of things that I’ve gone through in my life. And share things we people they don’t know that I think they will find very interesting.”

Oliver originally wasn’t sure if he was going to write the book, but quickly changed his mind. After careful deliberation and several conversations with a publisher (who was convinced Oliver had an amazing life story), the former major league batting champion agreed to share his life with the world.

Now that his work and his life have almost come to fruition, Oliver hopes people will gain a better understanding of who he is as a person and he hopes his book inspires people to make the right choices.

Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.

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