Former Buc Blyleven Gets Hall Call

The 14-year wait is over, former Pirates right-hander Bert Blyleven is now a Hall of Famer. Blyleven received 463 votes from 581 members of the Baseball Writers Association. That was amounted to 79.7 percent, more than the 75 percent needed for induction.

This was the 14th year Blyleven appeared on the ballot, after falling five votes short last year.

"It's been 14 years of praying and waiting," Blyleven said in a conference call. "I'd like to thank the Baseball Writers of America for, I'd like to say, finally getting it right."

Joining Blyleven as part of the 2011 Hall of Fame class is second baseman Roberto Alomar, whose name appeared on 90 percent of the ballots.

Blyleven, a two-time all-star and now the Minnesota Twins' television analyst, compiled a 287-250 record and 3.31 ERA in 22 major league seasons. He ranks fifth in career strikeouts (3,701), 10th in starts (685), ninth in shutouts (60) and 14th in innings pitched (4,969 1/3 ).

Blyleven pitched in two World Series, going a combined 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 23 innings in helping the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1987 Twins win championships.

Alomar and Blyleven will be inducted with baseball executive Pat Gillick, who in December was voted in by the Hall's veterans committee after building three World Series- winning teams. Induction ceremonies are set for July 24.

Alomar, 42, had a 17-season Major League Baseball career that included 12 All-Star Game spots and 10 Gold Glove Awards for fielding, the most of any second baseman.

He played his first three seasons with the San Diego Padres before five years with the Toronto Blue Jays. That was followed by three years each with the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians, as well as stops with the New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Blyleven, a right-hander, retired in 1992 after a 22-year major league career, playing 11 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, five with the Indians, three each with the California Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates and two with the Texas Rangers.

Blyleven's Cooperstown plaque will show the 22-year Major Leaguer in a Twins cap, but Blyleven did spend three of his seasons wearing black and gold and has fond memories of the 1979 World Champion Pirates.

"We had a great time of course led by Willie Stargell," Blyleven recalled. "Also Dave Parker and my goodness I could go on and on with Phil Garner and Tim Foli up the middle and Omar Moreno and Bill Madlock and Ed Ott and Steve Nicosia and Manny Sanguillan behind the plate. It was a great ballclub, we had a great pitching staff, we had a great defensive ballclub and we were supposed to win that year and we did."

Blyleven's teammate Dave Parker once again did not get enough votes for the Hall of Fame. The former outfielder received 15.3 percent of the vote, his highest total since 2001. In 15 years on the ballot, Parker never appeared on more than 24.5 percent of the ballots.

This marked the 15th time Parker has been on the ballot, he has now exhausted his eligibility. The former NL MVP and two-time batting champ was a part of three World Series teams in his 19-year career. One of those came with Pittsburgh in 1979. Parker batted .345 in that Fall Classic.

Parker, a seven-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove award winner, finished his career with a .290 average, 339 homers and 1,493 runs driven in.

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