However, during his time in the Mexican League, he was coached by Dolph Lugue, a curveball mastermind, which helped him rely on the pitch upon returning to the majors. So while the Sept. 22, 1977, contest wasn't a home game for Blyleven's Texas Rangers, it felt like it for Blyleven - who celebrated by pitching a no-hitter. I was a kid listening on the radio when Blyleven was in his short stint with the Rangers, and I loved his confidence in throwing that curve when everyone in the stadium and listening on the radio knew what was coming. (And the difference between Blylevens actual record and the second projection quantifies that murky third factor, but well get back to that in a second). He became interested in baseball as a young boy watching Sandy Koufax pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers and listening to Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett announce the Dodgers' radio broadcasts. He has lines around his eyes and a scar on the inside of his right elbow, testimony to the strain and pain of 15 years in the major leagues. And as for Reggie Jackson, well, hed just as soon take the day off as hit against Blyleven, who struck him out 47 times and held him to a .214 career average. Hal Newhouser barely won 200 games. In 22 seasons, Blyleven had more than 3,700 career strikeouts, including more than 2,000 of those in 11 seasons with the Twins. At the Blyleven the biggest celebrity, literally and figuratively, is Lou Ferrigno, television's erstwhile Incredible Hulk. "One curve I'll always remember was when I was pitching for Pittsburgh, Blyleven once recalled. Bert Blyleven Stats, Height, Weight, Position, Rookie Status & More | Bert Blyleven Position: Pitcher Bats: Right Throws: Right 6-3 , 200lb (190cm, 90kg) Born: April 6, 1951 in Zeist, Netherlands nl More bio, uniform, draft, salary info Hall of Fame 2x All-Star 2x World Series 28 28 28 22 22 22 28 28 "I know that stuff sounds silly," says Smith. Brett Butler was presented with an autographed picture of his favorite soap opera star. If it weren't for drug and injury issues late in his career, he easily could have reached the 3,000-strikeoutplateau. In 1996, Blyleven became a television color analyst for the Twins, calling games for WCCO-TV and Midwest Sports Channel (later Fox Sports North). When you cant lift your arm for two days after throwing, you cant do any more.. 5.0. If youre going to try to adjust Blylevens record by his run support, you actually have to focus on his run support. His answer told you all you need to know about the major-league curveball: Dont bother. He says, "Mister Paul and Mister Seghi [Mister?] A renowned curveball pitcher, Blyleven was also a two-time All-Star and World Series champion. The worst election by any of 20 guys who had gone on to election was one time Tony Perez finished exactly one vote shy of 50 percent. Given another five years of success, Blyleven will have Hall of Fame credentials. After the game Howard said, "He's got a fine arm. Upon being traded to the Cleveland Indians, Blyleven initially struggled with injuries, but then enjoyed a late-career resurgence, finishing third in the Cy Young Award voting in back-to-back years, with Cleveland in 1984 and also the following 1985 season that he split between the Indians and Twins. The Rangers received Al Oliver and Nelson Norman from the Pirates and Jon Matlack from the Mets. He can't speak Dutch, but to this day he still understands a little of it. It's one of the hardest things in sports to execute. Who has blue ticket 92594? One of the nicknames for a curveball is a "yakker." That upset Blyleven, especially because he has given of himself to Cleveland. He also won a World Series in 1979 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Camilo Pascual threw only two pitches, his fastball and his nasty overhand curveball, so as one can imagine those pitches were dominant. Blyleven's first two full seasons back with the Twins produced major league records for home runs allowed in a single season (50) and in back-to-back seasons (96). The in/out line for the Hall has never been 300 wins. They had a profound disagreement over how often Blyleven should pitch; he wanted to go every fourth game, and Tanner gave him the ball every fifth. Blyleven, who has a seven handicap, is teamed with a couple of Cadillac dealers and an attorney, a zany Mormon named Tom Anthony. The story went that the reason Eddie Stanky quit after one game as manager of the Rangers was that he went out to the mound to remove Blyleven from the game, and Byleven told him to go back to the dugout. Francisco the busboy? On this Wikipedia the language links are at the top of the page across from the article title. In 1985 he again led the American League in shutouts with five. Although under-appreciated during his playing career, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011his second-to-last year of eligibility. Finally we'd make like we were playing the outfield and jump over the fence in left.". And quite well, thank you. "You know, from sticking our fingers in the dikes. Well, his curveball was good enough to strike out 27 batters in a nine-inning game at Class D Bristol and followed that up with a 24-strikeout performance. Blyleven went on to win the game 2-1, allowing five hits in seven innings and retiring the outsized Howard all three times he faced him. See all categories. After all, 17 wins in eight years is a lot. What makes his statistics even more impressive is that he missed five starts after he broke a bone in his right foot; while shagging flies in the Milwaukee outfield in May, he stepped on a ball hiding in the grass. See details. In his parting shot, Blyleven called the Twins' fans "bleep bleep" and said, "They're behind you when you do good, and they turn on you when things go wrong. Blyleven wanted $85,000, which seems like a piddling sum now, and the Twins were offering $65,000. Blyleven set the record that still stands with 50 gopher balls in 1986, and then topped the league again with 46 in 1987. (Thanks, Ron, wherever you are.) The Pirates won by the same score in Game 5 of the World Series, as Blyleven earned the decision with four shutout innings of relief. "We left one month-old piece in there, and I think Chris ate it." He also suggested publicly that the Indians might be better off trading him to a contender for younger talentas they would soon do with his friend Rick Sutcliffe. Go figure. background-color:#ba3434; Carter only had one really low year, and it was never as low as Blyleven. A banquet in a Riviera dining room follows the golf tournament, and Blyleven, nattily dressed in a camel's hair sports coat, navy blue trousers, blue shirt and uncut tie, is the master of ceremonies. When the Angels came to nearby Anaheim in 1966, Bert didn't switch his allegiance, although he did become one of the stadium rats. With all of the talk of some players not getting the votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America for entry into the Hall of Fame because of allegations and admissions regarding illegal substance abuse, pitcher Bert Blyleven, who became a member of the Hall earlier this month . Bert Blyleven Stats by Baseball Almanac. player has saved over his peers. Digging a little deeper into the numbers, it looks like it really was just luck, because Blyleven was at his best when it counted the most. "I told our third baseman, Steve Braun, to watch for a bunt," says Blyleven, "but Spanky laid a perfect one down. Look at his hits to innings pitched [8.10 per nine innings], his walks to strikeouts [7.02 strikeouts and 2.47 walks per nine innings] and his ERA. None spent as many years as low on BBWAA ballots as Blyleven. Blyleven missed the entire 1991 season following rotator cuff surgery. Position: Starting Pitcher Bats: Right Throws: Right 6-3, 200lb (190cm, 90kg) . "Brought it in from Cleveland," comes the host's reply. How high/low, in degrees, a ball was hit by a batter. There are any number of reasons, starting with the fact that early in his career Blyleven relied too much on his ability to overpower hitters, especially late in the game. He responded with a flippant gesture. One of his trademarks was circling fans with the telestrator on screen. Heck, Manny Trillo made four. Jump is a Statcast metric that shows which players have Blyleven was recently inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame after recording over 3,700 strikeouts in his career. }, Cronkite School at ASU He was drafted straight out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in the third round in 1969. When I first discovered Retrosheet eons ago, the first thing I wanted to do was look at Blylevens run support. How much did this cost him? Steve Farr. He came back in 1992 but was mostly unproductive, going 8-12 with a 4.74 ERA. That just leaves the years in his apparent prime, from 1970-77, when he won 17 fewer games than youd expect. Blyleven's commentary was occasionally risqu for a baseball broadcast but provided interesting and friendly conversation between him and play-by-play announcer Dick Bremer. Stand behind a tree 60 feet away and Ill whomp you with an optical illusion, challenged Dizzy Dean. That may not mean much to you, but Ron Theobald is the only man in baseball history to go into the on-deck circle without his bat. A Bolt is any run where the Sprint Speed (defined as Jerry Koosman was a two-time, all-star for the New York Mets and, like most lefties, relied heavily on his curveball for success. Blyleven mingled easily with the other parents. Hey, wait a minute, Francisco, where are you going? Blyleven is the winning pitcher in Game 3 of the NLCS and Game 5 (pitching in relief) of the World Series. Joe worked on the railroads in Saskatoon and Regina and moved to California in 1955. If you go through the above, he comes out to 298-239 for his career, ever so incredibly shy of 300. Nearly a decade later while an Indian, he flipped the bird to fans in Baltimore. background-image:unset; [8] He pitched well with the Rangers, posting a 2.76 ERA. "O.K., we've got a golf bag and a dozen balls. "[20] Specifically, according to Welch, "the president and chief investment officer of Lederer & Associates Investment Counsel in Long Beach, California, a guy by the name of Rich Lederer, began spending some of his off-hours writing analysis on the Interwebs about Blyleven's overlooked case. This list is composed based not just on the nastiness of the curveball but also on how effectively it was used along with the pitcher's other weapons. The no-hitter was his final start as a Ranger; not until Cole Hamels during the 2015 season would a pitcher be traded after pitching a no-hitter in his most recent start for the team that traded him. I've had a nice life since, and tried my best never to look back. "And then he went down." He's referring to neckties. Blyleven recorded 3,701 career strikeouts, the fifth-most in MLB history. When announcing partner Bremer attempted to circle fans with the telestrator, he drew geometric forms that were non-circular, and Blyleven and fans started to jostle Bremer with phrases like "Rhombus me, Dick" or "Triangle me, Dick". window") of the runner is at least 30 ft/sec. "With his hands and wrist, he could throw that damn thing without any seams and it would curve," says Corrales. Despite winning 17 fewer games than he should have in his pre-Pittsburgh years, Blyleven can still claim to be one of only 16 men in the liveball era to win 150 games before turning 30. If you went back further, you could find guys whod risen up: Billy Williams, Luis Aparicio, Bob Lemon. Others will call it pitching to the score. How fast, in miles per hour, a ball was hit by a batter. An inveterate practical joker, Blyleven likes to snip cravats. Blyleven has ridden the curve to a career ERA of 3.00. Only 16 other pitchers have at least 3,000 career strikeouts. Blyleven pitched very well for the Indians in the strike year of 1981 (11-7, 2.89 ERA), but in the first game after play resumed, he hurt his right elbow. He is very much at ease on the podium as he describes various raffle prizes, calls off winning numbers and awards golf trophies. Blyleven received only 17.55% of the vote for Hall of Fame admission in 1998 (his first year of eligibility), and his vote total dropped to 14.1% in 1999. Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett would be describing Koufaxs curve that he threw off that high mound, Blyleven recalled. In his second stint in Minnesota, Bert Blyleven helped the Twins win the 1987 World Series and won his 250th career game a year later. He pitched a no-hitter, was chosen to a pair of All-Star teams and also won two World Series Championships. It can ruin a career. "It finally ended when I was out in the back of the house, pulling weeds. He's also not afraid to throw inside to a hitter. And he couldn't help it if he was injured. The umpire called it a strike and Jamie backed out and it looked to me like he kind of laughed a little bit. A 1971 Milwaukee Brewers uniform, No. Weve already figured out what Blylevens record should be based on pythaging his RA/9IP and league-average run support. Who? ", Bert also inherited a love of the Dodgers from his father; he worshiped two in particular, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. You've got to be kidding. I bid $250. About 10 years ago, there was a debate at the late, great Rob Neyer Message Board about Blylevens Hall of Fame chances. "It was the worst time I've ever had in baseball," he says. Blyleven became disgruntled with the Pirates and threatened to retire during the 1980 season if he was not traded. It showed that of the last 20 guys elected to Cooperstown by the BBWAA (as of then), none had ever received 20 percent or lower of the vote in any election they were up for. I checked all pitchers with at least 25 SHO from 1920-2011. Major League and Minor League Baseball data provided by Major League Baseball. You have a half-dozen 300 game winnersGaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, Steve Carlton, Don Sutton, Nolan Ryan, and Tom Seaver. This semicelebrity affair at Riviera was the second off-season charity event Bert has sponsored. And I said, 'Yes.' Phone: 602.496.1460 After getting his 18th win, Blyleven talked Cleveland Manager Pat Corrales into letting him pitch again with only three days' rest, and he won No. He still he ranks fifth all-time in that department. His father, Joe, was a handyman who, during World War II, hid his future father-in-law from the Nazis so he wouldn't be put in a concentration camp. Kirkpatrick, 40, is sitting in the back of the dining room with his wife, Judy. Bert Blyleven grew up in Garden Grove, Calif., less than 10 miles from Anaheim Stadium. The Blyleven abode, one of many handsome houses on his street, should bear a plaque commemorating one of the best baseball lines of this decade. Many years ago, I figured this out for the careers of nearly 200 pitchers, and only three did this bad (Tim Keefe and Curt Simmons both at 18, and Dizzy Trout the champion at 22). Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, Lew Burdette, Joe Adcock, Eddie Mathews. Sold for $150. From the moment he came to the major leagues, as a 19-year-old with the Minnesota Twins in 1970, he has been considered a great talent. Take his 1974 season, when he went 17-17 despite a tremendous ERA+ of 142. One of seven children, Bert grew up in Garden Grove as American as, well, Dutch apple pie. During his time with the Angels, the fire extinguisher in the team's clubhouse at Angel Stadium read: "In case of Blyleven: Pull". "We've got some baseball memorabilia donated to us by the players," Blyleven says, "and the money will go to help Ed Kirkpatrick back there. Says Roy Smith, a rookie pitcher who dressed next to Blyleven last season, "Because his stuff is so good, it really doesn't do me any good to ask him what he throws to certain hitters. I just wish we had more fans. Thanks, Bob. He has had only one 20-win season, in 1973, the first year of the DH, when 12 American League pitchers won 20 or more. His career was put on hold by a stint with the United States Armed Forces. "But I thought it was kind of nice. The list of 1-0 CG SHO, required the Play Index. He currently ranks 5th all-time in strikeouts, 9th all-time in shutouts, and 27th all-time in wins. Though his age-28 season, Blyleven tossed 2,624 innings, more than anyone since Pete Alexander. His fastball overpowered hitters and was clearly the pitch he relied on most heavily. Played in the Big Leagues from 1971-1990 and 1992. He had looked up the records of Walter Johnson and Cy Young when he was young. Shipping speed. Corrales feels the secret of Blyleven's curve is not in the grip but in his big, strong hands. He struck out 109 batters in 43 innings in his first season and 172 in his 126 career innings in Class D. Much like Nolan Ryan, Satchel Paige did not use his curveball as his primary pitch, but he still had a damn good one. Now he owes the Indians and the city of Cleveland something in return.". in "feet per second in a player's fastest one-second Bah! At 6 feet 3 inches, with long arms and large hands, he throws. According to Matt Welch of Reason Magazine, "there had long been a strong case that the Dutch-born curveballista was the most deserving player on the outside of Cooperstown looking in. Collectibles; Books & Magazines; Entertainment Memorabilia; Cell Phones . He won his first World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979. Tanner is almost universally beloved, so Blyleven came out as the bad guy in Pittsburgh, especially after Tanner called him "Cryleven." Thats especially the case for the guys who finished near the top of the list (and where Blyleven would be if he didnt weirdly have those 17 missing wins). However, columnist Jayson Stark said, "No player has everand again, that word is 'ever'had his Hall of Fame candidacy helped more by the sabermetrics boom than Blyleven. He repaid some of his debt to Flores this off-season when he hosted a tournament to benefit the Hemophilia Foundation; Flores's grandson has that disease. His wife, Patty, has a sneaking suspicion that he wanted the panda for himself as much as for their four children, Todd, 12, Kimberly, 10, Timothy, 3, and Thomas, 17 months. He's fifth on the active list in shutouts, sixth in strikeouts, eighth in victories and eighth in innings pitched. None had ever fallen below 30 percent. [18] He returned in his role for 2013 and 2017.[2]. Monte tried to throw a curve, and something in his elbow snapped. Communication. I also wish we were in the other division.". I have to ask him, 'Bert, what would you throw if you had my stuff?' [11][12] With the Pirates, he led the team in ERA, strikeouts, and complete games in 1978, and he helped them to a World Series victory in 1979. Lets back up for a second. There aren't many higher compliments than that for any pitcher. Yes, he rubbed up his hands, went down for the bat, and it wasn't there!". 4.9. 28, "Longtime Twins broadcaster Bert Blyleven hangs up the mic", June 2, 1976: Minneapolis Tribune column on Blyleven's trade to Texas Rangers. He earned the moniker "Frying Dutchman" by frequently setting fire to his teammates' shoelaces, a practical joke known as a "hot foot". The third pitch was a hard check swing. Being close to his 100th win is. He got him to fly out. Bert Blyleven belongs in the Hall Of Fame because he pitched nearly 5000 innings, struck out 3700 batters, threw 60 shutouts, and compiled a career 3.31 ERA which was 18 percent better than the league . ", Last year Blyleven was 4-0 with a 1.44 ERA against the American League West champion Royals. 555 N. Central Ave. #416 See all categories. He blanked Milwaukee on four hits in his first start, followed by a three-hit shutout at Kansas City five days later. He's celebrity chairman of the 65 Roses Club for Cystic Fibrosis there. The house has lots of toys, some for the kids, some for Bert. I assumed Blyleven had no chance with the current BBWAA. These arent items I learned in the last week, but they are things I found out during the course of Blylevens seemingly never-ending Cooperstown candidacy. Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven reminding MLB's aging audience that starters were expected to finish games as recent as the 1980s should consider how effective he and his peers were the third . The movement of a pitch is defined in inches, both in He has always hovered around .500: 10-9, 16-15, 17-17 twice. 1971 TOPPS # 26 BERT BLYLEVEN NICE CARD. Well, if its not luck, youre saying in so many words that the guy choked or lacked mental toughness. 48 is from a one-hitter Blyleven threw against the Kansas City Royals on May 24, 1973. If you had to pick one starting pitcher to serve as in/out line for induction, Id go with Stan Coveleski. He won fewer games than he should have, right? Bert knew what had happened right away and got Monte's elbow in a bucket of ice. Why did Blyleven only make it twice? From a Cooperstown point of view, the debate is semantics. He generally did better in the second half of the year. Call it sunspots for all I care, it aint run support. Enough to make your knees buckle. It was this way when hitters faced Blyleven, as former San Diego catcher Terry Kennedy can attest. If anyones curious, heres a list of the most 1-0 CG SHO for post-Walter Johnson pitchers: Nice lead for Blyleven. Blyleven made his major league debut at age 19 for the Twins. In the end, he fell virtually inches short of what would have been an unquestioned Hall of Fame career, just missing 300 wins (13 shy), 5,000 innings (30 shy), and 4,000 strikes (299 shy). I'm thrilled to see Blyleven in the HOF. This was especially pronounced in his first seven full seasons, 1971-77, when he was in his prime. Arguments for inducting Bert Blyleven into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Blyleven was one of baseball's most notorious dugout pranksters during his playing days. To me, that was the characteristic that made him an unquestionable HOFer. Free local pickup from Brooklyn, New York, United States. Expected Weighted On-base Average (xwOBA). "I have here a ball autographed by Sandy Koufax, a pretty fair pitcher. Mary Scheinblum bids $150; do I hear $175?" June 14, 1985: Bert Blyleven achieves a career milestone as he collects his 200th career win, defeating the A's, 6-1. If he underachieved because of his own personal failings, then why was he so successful when things entirely depended on him? shouts someone from a passing golf cart. US $3.00Standard Shipping. However, the velocity on his fastball adding to the effectiveness of his curveball. July 16, 1985: For the second time Blyleven pitches in an All-Star Game. It wasn't until he got married in 1971 that he noticed on his birth certificate that he's really Rik Aalbert. This past baseball season he merely cut up American League batters, finishing as the third-leading vote getter in the Cy Young Award balloting, behind relievers Willie Hernandez and Dan Quisenberry. The evening is winding down, and there are only a few more souvenirs left to be auctioned. Paired with his 98 mile-per-hour fastball, Gooden's sweeping curve made him one of the league's most feared pitchers during his playing days. On July 16, 2011, the Minnesota Twins formally retired Blyleven's number.[26]. In 1986, he. Before the game Blyleven went over to the lineup card and changed the spelling of his name from "Blylevan." Anything below 88mph is considered 0. 5.0. In fact, he never came close. Blyleven got so upset with his role in Pittsburgh that he walked out on the Pirates for 10 days early in 1980. In the last part of his careerhis second go-around in Minnesota and his final seasons in Californiahe came out eight games ahead. What we're talking about here is a humongous stuffed panda, and he's auctioning off the bear at the banquet. Thanks in no small amount to a campaign led by Rich Lederer to get Bert Blyleven into the Hall of Fame, Blyleven saw his vote total gradually rise up, election after election, until he got in. "The guys who were real cheap during the season got real cheap gifts," he says. But Blyleven is still a big kid at heart. Then theres Blyleven. 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates, .avia-section.av-k6v62xgq-c0812a68936ee67ed4883eaa9d35be9b{ "When they asked us who wanted to play in the Instructional League in the fall of '69, I was the first one to raise my hand," he says. by Handedness, 10 things I didnt know about Bert Blyleven, Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Only two of them won 30 games after their age 30 seasonJim Palmer and Bob Fellerand none did it after age 32. Nolan Ryan is widely considered one of the most dominant pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball. Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven, who happened to be pitching coach for the Netherlands, didn't like what he saw during his team's loss to Puerto Rico. "It was nice of him to come anyway," says Blyleven. He may have been the best pitcher in the history of baseball. Almost everybody says this of Blyleven: "He wants the ball." Yeah, over his career. Mike Jeffcoat. "I visualized the dropping motion.". All rights reserved. I wanted to be like him, he said. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011 . OK, now lets figure out what Blylevens record should be based on pythaging his actual RA/9IP and his actual run support. Blessed with one of the greatest curveballs the game has ever seen, Blyleven stands among the elite in several statistical categories, ranking fifth all-time in strikeouts (3,701), ninth in games started (685) and shutouts (60), and 24th in wins (287). Born in the Netherlands but raised in Southern California, Blyleven would spend many evenings listening to Vin Scullys radio description of what may have been the greatest curveball ever in the game. Brian yeah, if you look at pre-1920 guys its really nuts. On September 22, 1977, just two weeks after being sidelined with a groin injury, Blyleven no-hit the California Angels 60 at Anaheim Stadium. "I saw him when he was 19 and I've seen him now," Howser says. The answer is 11. One of the most remarkable things about Blyleven's career marks is that, of the active pitchers who rank ahead of him (Nolan Ryan, Don Sutton, Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, Tommy John, Jerry Koosman and Phil Niekro), the youngest is nearly five years older than he is. Rik Aalbert Blyleven was born in Zeist, a municipality in Utrecht, Netherlands, the son of Johannes Cornelius and Jannigje Blijleven. Terrys reaction was to swing straight down, like he was chopping the plate with an axe. In the world of baseballan image comes to mind here of a white planet with red seams and American League president Bobby Brown's signature on itlabels are very easy to put on and very hard to take off. Esteban Loaiza made two. Thats the question. Please note the delivery estimate is greater than 13 business days. In Texas, Blyleven got blamed for something he never did. In the '60s, Koufax had it. He went out and used it to dominate high school hitters, and by age 19 found himself winning 10 games in the major leagues as a rookie for the Minnesota Twins, the start to a career that would last until he was 41. Blyleven and his Villa Park neighbors could probably win the American League West. "I just don't think he knew how to use me." "Somebody had a sign that read, 'We drove 660 miles from Detroit Lakes,' I . Hmmm, no cork in it. "An autographed picture of Fernando Valenzuela. "If you gave baseball people their choice among Dan Petry, Jack Morris and Blyleven, Blyleven would probably be third," says Hal McRae, Kansas City's longtime designated hitter. "Matlack, Milner Go In FourTeam Trade,", Durso, Joseph. Two words Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson used to describe Bert Blyleven's curveball: "nasty" and "knee-buckling.". "What other team gets to wear a picture of its general manager on its jacket?" Blyleven thinks little of drugs, pitch count. Or 40 percent.