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.