I consider myself to be a Bert Blyleven fan. As a huge Minnesota sports supporter, its tough not to like a guy who helped the Twins win their first World Title. I also have had the joy of watching many broadcasts with Bert just being Bert, something that I find to be a pretty awesome addition to the games themselves. Blyleven had a remarkable 22 year career as a member of many different teams, and when you consider that he is 5th on the all time K list and has 2 rings on his hand, I could never understand why he had such a problem getting in to Cooperstown. Today, that all changed, and as a stat geek mixed with a Twins fan, I am very happy.
Bert has had his fair share of great moments on the field as well as a few off the field, and I think he has been deserving of the honor since the first time he was eligible. Even though wins are one of the most useless stats to measure the success of a pitcher, Blyleven didnt disappoint during his time. He posted year after year of 200 strikeouts, and was famous for his ridiculous curve ball. Of course, for many BBWAA writers, they didnt look past the fact that he came a few wins short of 300, and that is something I will never understand.
Even after a long career of playing great baseball, he is probably famous for two things that that never happened within the confines of fair territory. The first is the use of a telestrator for non-baseball related things, and the second is his accidental slip on live TV. If you have been a Twins fan for as long as I have, you know all about being circled by Bert during the broadcasts. In fact, even if you arent a Twins fan, the practice has spread to other teams. Just like with the famous “Circle Me Bert” trend is sweeping the nation, you gotta appreciate the other moment I was talking about. Blyleven is known for being a goofball, but he never seems like the kind of guy who has a mouth on him. He seems more like your fun loving grandpa who says “darn” and “heck” instead of damn and hell.
Check it out, as that is not the case.
Congrats Bert, you deserve to be in the fuckin’ hall of fame without a doubt!