NEW YORK (WCCO/AP) — The votes have been counted and Bert Blyleven is now bound for Cooperstown.
After receiving 79 percent of the ballots from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, above the 75 percent required for election, Blyleven can now add the title Hall of Famer to his resume. The same for Roberto Alomar.
Blyleven and Alomar both came within a few ballots in last year’s election by the BWAA — no one who’s come so close has ever been shut out for good.
This was Blyleven’s 14th time on the ballot, which would have left him with one more try with the BBWAA electorate had he missed. The curveballer was just five votes shy of selection last year, when he drew 74.2 percent.
WCCO’s Chad Hartman Interviews Bert Blyleven
Alomar drew 397 votes (73.7 percent) in his first try last year and fell eight short of the required 75 percent.
Pat Gillick already is in the lineup for the induction ceremonies July 24 in Cooperstown, N.Y. The longtime executive was chosen last month by the Veterans Committee, and he enhanced his place with a trade for Alomar that helped bring World Series trophies to Toronto in 1992-93.
Blyleven finished with 287 wins, 3,701 strikeouts, 60 shutouts and a pair of World Series rings. His numbers have gotten a boost in recent years by sabermetricians, who have found more modern ways to evaluate baseball statistics.
Blyleven’s path toward the Hall has been a slow, steep one, having once drawn the backing of only 14.1 percent. He is trying to become the first pure starting pitching to get chosen by the BBWAA since Nolan Ryan in 1999.
Sluggers Rafael Palmeiro, Jeff Bagwell and Mark McGwire all fell below the 50 percent mark.
The induction ceremony will be held on July 24 in Cooperstown.
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