After a 14 year wait, Bert Blyleven is can finally add "Hall of Famer" to his resume. Bert joins Roberto Alomar as the two 2011 Hall of Fame inductees announced earlier today. Alomar made it on his second year on the ballot with a whopping 90% of the vote, up from a frustrating 73.7% last year.
During Blyleven's 22 season career, he amassed an amazing 3,701 strikeouts, 287 wins, a 3.31 ERA, 2 All-star teams, 2 World Series rings, and a no-hitter. Despite being 13 wins shy of 300, he pitched an additional 79 quality starts in which he earned no decision. He also pitched an astounding 242 complete games. Aside from all of the numbers and stats, he may be even more well known and beloved by many for his colorful personality on and off the field, and for his post-baseball career.
It could be argued that Alomar is one of the best defensive second basemen of his era, if not all time. He made it to the All-Star game TWELVE consecutive times during his career, earned 10 Gold Glove awards, 4 Silver Sluggers, and 2 World Series rings. His career stats include a .300 batting average, 2,724 hits, 474 stolen bases, and 210 Homeruns. There was some shock when he didn't make it to the Hall during his first year on the ballot, but many people felt it was due to his spitting on an umpire in 1996. Oops.
The rest of the voting went pretty much as expected. Third place honors went to Barry Larkin with 62.1% of the vote, and 4th place went to Jack Morris with 53.5%. It was no surprise that the players on the ballot from the Steroid Era were snubbed - although not shut out. Mark McGuire received just 19.7% of the vote - down from last year -
Congratulations again, Bert and Robbie! Enjoy your places in baseball history!
And, just for funsies, we thought we'd give you a few reasons we love Bert Blyleven:
1. He had one of the nastiest curve balls known to mankind.
2. Known for being a locker room prankster, he earned the nickname "The Frying Dutchman" because he would set his teammates shoe laces on fire.
3. During his time with the Rangers, he intentionally gave the finger to a live camera that he knew to be on him during a nationally televised game.
4. His commentary during many Twins games will usually include a reference to how many days are left until his birthday. There is even a super-awesome drinking game devoted to Bert and his birthday talk.
5. He was suspended from his broadcasting duties for 5 games in 2006 for dropping the F-bomb twice during a live broadcast. Fuck yes.
6. He gave us the phrase 'you are hereby circled', as he circles fans holding up their 'circle us Bert' signs. This started after he randomly circled a fan with the telestrator.
7. In 2007, he let Johan Santana shave his head on camera after losing a bet to him that Johan wouldn't pitch a shutout against his future squad, The New York Mets.
8. At age 34, he pitched an amazing 24 complete games - 5 being shutouts. His record high was 25 complete games in 1973 with 9 shut outs that year. When he was 22 years old.