Today at 1:00, the Baseball Hall of Fame will announce its inductees for 2011.Â I really hope that Bert Blyleven’s phone rings at 12:30 at his home in Fort Myers, Florida, with someone on the other end telling him he’s finally made it to Cooperstown.
In what has to be one of the bigger injustices of Hall of Fame of voting over the years, Blyleven has been rejected for 13 years.Â And as each year has gone by, Blyleven has found it increasingly difficult to hide his disappointment.Â I think that has rubbed some of the voters the wrong way, which is a joke in itself.
Apparently Blyleven has also been penalized for playing on some bad Minnesota Twins teams and some worse Cleveland Indians teams (among others).Â But if you look at his numbers, they are Hall of Fame worthy:Â he ranks 5th all-time in strikeouts, 10th in starts, 9th in shutouts, 26th in wins, and 14th in innings pitched… Led AL in shutouts three times (1973, ’85, ’89), innings twice (1985, ’86), complete games once (1985), and strikeouts once (1985)…And the list goes on.Â It’s indefensible that he is not in the Hall of Fame.Â Bert Blyleven has 242 complete games and 60 career shutouts. He has more shutouts than Mike Mussina has complete games (57).Â And Mussina is already on the fast-track to the Hall.
While I’m not a fan of his television work, “at the major league level”, “Circle me Bert” and all the other nonsense he brings into the booth with him, I am a fan of his career.
He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.Â He deserved it years ago.Â I hope his phone rings today.Â I have a feeling it will.