John Olerud had two great seasons. For the rest of his career, he had solid seasons as a first baseman but nothing great. I think he easily could have been the MVP in 1993 his first great season. Frank Thomas was a unanimous choice. WAR said Olerud had a better offensive season, and he was definitely a better defensive player then Thomas. It wasn’t close. While Olerud was really good, Thomas was below average fielder. Ken Griffey Jr. had the best season, but his team was at .500 while Thomas and Olerud played for division winners. For some reason, Olerud’s teammate Paul Molitor came in second for the MVP and Olerud came in third. Olerud had a better offensive season even though Molitor scored more and drove in more runs. That Is probably why he got second.
Olerud was famous before he came to the majors. He played college baseball at Washington State. His junior year he had a brain aneurysm and when he came back to play he wore a helmet on defense. In college Olerud pitched and played in the field when he didn’t pitch. He was also a great hitter in college. However, he didn’t pitch well after coming back from his brain aneurysm. However, he had a great career anyway.
Olerud was a player who I liked, but I see him as a borderline hall of famer. He had a very good career. Was excellent getting on base with .398 on base percentage. However, there are players behind him I like better. Also, I have him as my 24th best first baseman and with 23 that is plenty of first basemen in the hall of fame.