The 14th time was the charm for Bert Blyleven. On January 5th, Blyleven was elected as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2011.
For a guy who was retired before steroids took over baseball, there was a lot of debate on whether Blyleven deserved to be elected to the Hall of Fame. After looking over his career stats, I’d have to say it should have been a pretty easy decision that didn’t need to be drawn-out over 14 years. He deserves his plaque in Cooperstown.
Bert Blyleven is one of only 16 pitchers with over 3000 strikeouts, and one of only 9 pitchers with more than 3500 strikeouts.
In fact, Blyleven is fifth all-time with 3701 strikeouts, which was the most of any player that wasn’t already in the Hall of Fame.
He ranks 27th all-time with 287 wins. This was third-most among eligible Hall of Famers, and only one win behind Tommy John.
He threw 60 shutouts, which is 9th all-time, again the most of any player that was eligible for the Hall of Fame. That’s 14 more shutouts than next person on the list…Tommy John again.
On September 22, 1977, Blyleven threw a no-hitter against the California Angels as a member of the Texas Rangers.
In 1985, he led the American League with 206 strikeouts. And in 1987 was Member of Minnesota Twins 1987 World Series Championship team.
Nolan Ryan is the only pitcher in the history of baseball who has more wins, strikeouts, and shutouts than Bert Blyleven.
Blyleven is still known for having one of the best curveballs by any pitcher in history. We can only imagine what he could do with a plastic baseball, even now, and he’s been retired since 1992.
The subject of one of Chris Berman’s best nicknames, Bert “Be Home” Blyleven now announces for the Minnesota Twins. Depending on where you live, you might not get to hear him broadcast live, but perhaps you’re familiar with his vulgar slip-up before a game at Yankee Stadium.
The man is now known for circling his fans with his telestrator, or Circle Machine, during Twins games finally got his name circled on Baseball Hall of Fame ballots. He had been on the ballot since 1998, and by rule, would have only been eligible to be voted in by the Baseball Writers Association of America for one more year.
In 2009, he got 62.7% of votes. In 2010, he made a big leap and received 74.2%, less than 1% shy of the 75% required. In 2011, he received 79.7%, more than enough to get elected. I’m glad the writers finally took a minute to see where Blyleven ranks in some of the most important career pitching categories, realizing he deserves a plaque in Cooperstown too.
Congratulations, Bert. You’ve earned it.