It’s been a long time coming, but one of the most improbable Hall of Fame candidacies in baseball history came to a happy ending this week as Bert Blyleven was elected to Cooperstown with 79.7 percent of the vote, after coming up less than one percent short of the 75 percent threshold last year. Blyleven only received 12 percent in his first year of eligibility.
Blyleven posted a career record of 287-250 with a 3.31 ERA and is still fifth all-time in strikeouts with 3,701. He also tossed 242 complete games and 60 shut outs. Had it not been for two players’ strikes, he very well could have reached 300 career wins, a milestone that is a virtual first-ticket pass to induction.
Critics of Blyleven cite his lack of dominance, resulting in his being traded a handful of times as well as no Cy Young awards and only two All-Star appearances. However, his ability to win so many games while suffering so many close losses on numerous losing clubs was given a closer look by baseball writers throughout the years as his candidacy gained steam.
Blyleven will be the fourth player to enter the Hall with a Twins cap, joining second basemen Roberto Alomar in the 2011 class.
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Written by TS