Bert Blyleven was announced as the newest member of Baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday. The righty got his start with Minnesota, where we won the 1970 AL Rookie of the Year award, a year after he was drafted by the Twins.
2 of 15Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images
Although Blyleven had double-digit losses in each of the next six seasons, he had an ERA under 3.00 and struck out 200 or more batters each year over that same span. His best season was in '73, when he was an All-Star and had a career best in wins (20), ERA (2.52) strikeouts (258), and a league-high in shutouts (9). In June 1976, Blyleven was traded to the Rangers.
3 of 15MLB Photos/Getty Images
After two seasons in Texas, highlighted by a no-hitter against the Angels in 1977, Blyleven was traded to the Pirates. He led the team to 88 wins in 1978 by amassing team highs in wins, ERA, shutouts and complete games.
4 of 15Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Pittsburgh won 98 games in '79, and Blyleven's 237 innings led a team that earned a World Series victory over the Baltimore Orioles. His stay in Pittsburgh was marred by a trade demand, a two-week walk-out and a threat to retire early in the 1980 season. He was traded to the Indians following an 8-13 season.
5 of 15Ron Kuntz Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images
Blyleven struggled early in his Cleveland career. He pitched in only 159 innings his first season (lowest in his career at that point), and sat out the majority of the 1982 season with an elbow injury. After another disappointing season in 1983, Blyleven rebounded, posting a 19-7 record and 2.87 ERA while finishing third in the 1984 CY Young balloting.
6 of 15Ron Kuntz Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images
Blyleven shows off his sense of style during a photo shoot midway through the 1984 season.
7 of 15Ron Kuntz Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images
Blyleven makes another fashion statement while hanging out in the Indians locker room.
8 of 15Focus on Sport/Getty Images
The Twins traded for Blyleven midway through the 1985 season. That year he had 17 wins, a league-high 293 innings pitched, 24 complete games, 5 shutouts and 206 strikeouts. He also made the All-Star team and finished third in CY Young voting again.
9 of 15B Bennett/Getty Images
Blyleven won his second World Series title in 1987, when he went 3-1 in the playoffs to lead the Twins to their second championship.
10 of 15Mike Powell/Getty Images
Blyleven finished his career with the California Angels. In 1989, at 38, he had one of his best seasons with a 17-5 record, a 2.73 ERA and a fourth place finish in the CY Young voting. Injuries and poor performance were all too common in his final three years. Blyleven posted 17 seasons with over 200 innings pitched and finished with 3,701 strikeouts, 242 complete games and 60 shutouts over 22 seasons.
11 of 15
Blyleven and Wally Joyner having some fun during a trip giveaway promotion at Anaheim Stadium.
12 of 15AP
In 1996, Blyleven rejoined the Twins as a color commentator. In this photo, the newly-minted Hall of Famer celebrates a AL Central Division title with David Ortiz and Torii Hunter.
13 of 15AP
Blylelen has his head shaved by former Twins ace Johan Santana. The color commentator said Santana could shave his head if he pitched a complete game shutout that season. Santana made good on the bet by pitching a complete game shutout of the Mets
14 of 15William A Guerro/Icon SMI
Blyleven, who was born in the Netherlands, served as pitching coach for the team during the World Baseball Classic. His squad finished in seventh place out of 16 teams.
15 of 15Mike Segar/Reuters
On July 24, Blyleven became the first Dutch-born played to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. Blyleven, whose amazing curveball frustrated batters over his 22-year career, finished with 287 wins, 3,701 strikeouts, 60 shutouts. The starter also won a pair of World Series rings, one with the Pirates (1979) and one with the Twins (1987). Blyleven was inducted in the Class of 2011 alongside Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!