Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Why is this Man not in the Hall-of-Fame?

LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

The Baseball Hall-of-Fame just announced that Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg will be enshrined in Cooperstown, and both deservedly so. But this is also the time of year when we evaluate which players are being snubbed from the Hall by the voters. LAist strongly believes that no one left on the ballot is more deserving than Bert Blyleven.It is absolutely stunning that Blyleven is left off. He retired third all-time in strikeouts (now he's fifth), and he is sixth all-time in shutouts. Blyleven was an important pitcher on two World Series championship teams, and pitched well in the postseason. He finished in the top-five in ERA seven times in his career, 10 times in the top-10. He was an excellent pitcher for 22 seasons, in the Don Sutton or even Don Drysdale mode. So why isn't Blyleven in Cooperstown?

First off he has 287 wins, not 300. This is unfortunate, but let's be honest, the "wins" category for pitchers is bogus. If you earn 287 wins in 22 seasons, then it means you're incredibly durable, and you've probably been cheated out of several "wins" by your offense, bullpen, or defense. Pitchers cannot always control their won-loss records. Additionally, some think Byleleven was just average or only "very good." But any look at Blyleven's career reveals that he was anything but average. Perhaps he just didn't have access to the national media spotlight while playing most of his career in Minnesota, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh. Conversely, Gary Carter (voted in and deservingly so), probably benefitted from exposure in the New York market while playing for the Mets. LAist also thinks that Blyleven's longevity should be rewarded.

In the meantime, LAist congratulates Boggs and Sandberg on their elections. We also can't figure out who voted from Tom Candiotti, Jeff Montgomery, and Tony Phillips, but that's for another day. But we hope when the voters cast their ballots next year, they wake up to Bert "Be Home" Blyleven and recognize that he is beyond overdue for induction.