Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Blyleven in '11

Today is the day where the Baseball Writers' Association of America cast their annual ballots for players to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The official announcement naming the new inductees will be take place today at 1:00 CT.

In his 14th year of eligibility, former Twins pitcher Bert Blyleven looks to finally break through and take his well deserved place in Cooperstown. And while it's a travesty that it's taken this long for Blyleven to inducted into the Hall of Fame, I'm quite certain he'll have forgotten all of the previous snubs upon receiving the phone call that he has made it.

From a sheer numbers standpoint, it's hard to argue that Bert definitely belongs.

-Has 287 career wins, which is 27th all time. Bobby Matthews (297 wins) and Tommy John (288) are the only Hall of Fame eligible players ahead of Blyleven who have not been enshrined. In fact, the players ranked 28th (Robin Roberts) and 29th (Ferguson Jenkins) in all-time victories are also in the Hall.

-Is fifth all time in career strikeouts with 3,701. Ahead of him are Nolan Ryan (Hall of Famer), Randy Johnson (not yet Hall eligible but shoe-in for the HOF with 303 wins as well), Roger Clemens (sure Hall of Famer until the steroids allegations) and Steve Carlton (Hall of Famer). Six of the seven players following Blyleven on the all-time strikeouts list are also in. The only one who isn't is Greg Maddux, who will certainly be a first ballot selection upon eligibility in 2014.

-Is ninth all time in career shutouts with 60. The eight players ahead of him are all Hall of Famers. In fact, thirteen players immediately behind Blyleven on the career shutouts list are also in the Hall.

-Is fourteenth all time in innings pitched with 4,970. Twelve of the thirteen players ahead of him are in the Hall. The only one who isn’t? Maddux, who, again, is not eligible until 2014.

-Was a key member of two World Series winning teams (1979 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1987 Minnesota Twins). In those two series (covering four appearances) he was 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA.

Now if the BBWAA would just vote in Jack Morris..........


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