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Tuesday 19th Sep 2017

Yay. Two inductees who actually belong in the Hall of Fame made the cut yesterday, as Bert Blyleven and Robbie Alomar were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

I guess I am fortunate to have seen both play a number of times, and pretty much followed their careers, start to finish.

Just who belongs in the Hall is always fuel for discussion: it is as polarizing and passionate a subject as religion or politics.

But, Bert, with his 287 wins and 60 shutouts was among the best pitchers in baseball through the 70's and then 80's. He was dominant, and a rotation rock on Minnesota's 1979 and 1987 World Series teams. Oh yes, he purportedly had the best curve ball in baseball during his prime.

The thing is, it only tool Blyleven 15 years to hurdle the 75% barrier of the sportswriters’ votes to gain entry. Now, 287 wins is a lot, just 13 shy of what has been considered the true barometer, of 300 victories. For, over the years, there have been certain thresholds--400 homers, 3000 hits, and 300 wins--that when gained guarantee entrance.

Or used to, for there are now a number of players who qualify--and Darrell Evans always comes to my mind first--who have not made it and who never will. That is because 500 homers now seems to be the bottom line, and if Rafael Palmeiro hangs around the 11% he garnered his first year, well, that, along with 3000 hits will likely go by the wayside. For, Palmeiro has achieved both those goals.

On the other hand, Blyleven only managed 19% his first year of eligibility, so not only can anything happen, but, as time passes, and a new generation of sports writers takes over, the past my be either forgotten or forgiven.

Of course, Blyleven's inclusion raises questions around Tommy John (288 wins, 42 shutouts) and fellow Twin Jim Kaat (283 wins, 31 shutouts, and 15 gold gloves) and why they should now be excluded.

But then, as noted, never talk religion, politics, or the Hall of Fame with your relatives. Especiallyaround the holidays.




0 #5 Lawr Michaels 2011-01-08 00:08
i see bert in the booth when the twins are in town. he always nods and smiles. guess i need him to sign a ball for me for my HOF collection. (i have around 35 hof signed balls, including mantle, dimaggio, and mays). also one signed by thomson and branca.
0 #4 Perry Van Hook 2011-01-06 23:42
Congrats to the HOF voters (many of whom should have their credentials revoked) for finally circalling BERT!
0 #3 Rob Leibowitz 2011-01-06 18:38
I have a Bert Blyleven 8x10 signed on my office wall and every year....I say to it "this year's the year, Bert!"

So glad the writer's association was finally swayed by the overwhelming evidence that he is indeed, a hall of fame pitcher.
0 #2 Ryan Carey 2011-01-06 16:51
It's time to give the writers a supplemental ballot for guys that they would like to see carried over to the following year, without having those votes count toward induction. I think Franco, Brown and Baines all would have gotten enough support to remain for 2012.

Writers could vote for guys like BJ Surhoff without having to apologize for it. Writers could give supplemental votes to steroid suspects - keeping them around long enough to get more clarity on the HOF's stance on PED's.

Something for someone to write about and propose. (wink, wink)
0 #1 Ryan Carey 2011-01-06 16:47
Very Happy for Blyleven - he deserved it. And Alomar does as well. He was not one of my favorites growing up, but I don't dispute he deserves induction.

Happy to see the support for Larkin - who looks poised to get in next year, when there are no big names being added to the ballot.

I was a little bummed about was John Franco, Kevin Brown and even Harold Baines getting bumped from the ballot. Franco and Brown were in their first years and both I think deserved to remain on the ballot for at least another year.

IMO - remaining on the ballot is an honor in and of itself and I believe that both Franco and Brown achieved enough on the field for the writers to give them a longer look.

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