By John Lauritsen

By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — During two separate stints as a member of the Minnesota Twins, Bert Blyleven gave fans plenty to cheer about. And on a cold, January day he’s giving them one more reason to cheer.

On Wednesday afternoon, Blyleven was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

“I’m surprised it took so long for him. And I’m happy for him,” said fan Rich Hebert.

“I think it’s wonderful news. It’s just great. He deserves it,” said fan Dan Tyson. “Who can forget the ’87 World Series? … He’s fantastic.”

The general consensus seems to be that Blyleven’s Hall of Fame ticket could have been punched years ago. Last year, he missed Cooperstown by just five votes.

“I thought it was long overdue. I’ve been voting for the Hall of Fame for about six years and I’ve voted for Bert every year,” said La Velle E. Neal of the Star Tribune.

Neal said Blyleven’s numbers were eventually too good to ignore. He won a World Series title with the Pirates in 1979, but most fans remember his Twins win in ’87.

Neal said the fact that Blyleven never reached 300 wins may have delayed the inevitable. But now the man who has circled Twins Fans in his television broadcasts for years is getting circled himself.

“If you talk to players from his era, they hated facing him. I remember Bob Boone told me, “You get in the batter’s box against Bert and you hear the curve ball, it’s like buzzing when it’s coming up to the plate, it’s got such a tight rotation on it. They just hated facing him,” said Neal. “To me he was one of the best of his era and definitely deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame.”

WCCO-TV’s John Lauritsen and Mark Rosen Report

Comments (11)
  1. Us says:

    Right on Burt it’s about time congratulations!

  2. Eric says:

    It’s about time! Congrats Burt.

  3. Pennie says:

    Bout time man. This shoulda happened years ago. Lots of Congrats coming at ya!!

  4. Bob says:

    Circle your self Bert. Could not happen to a better person. Congrats!!!!!!!!!

  5. Darrel Halverson says:

    Congratulations Mr. Blyleven. its about time that curve ball struck out those baseball writers!!! Consider yourself circled!!! You are one class player and gentleman.

  6. Mark says:


  7. Matt says:

    Makes you wonder if we would have gotten in at all if some players wouldn’t have used performance enhancing drugs. They would have gotten more votes and ol’ Bert may still have been waiting! Bert is well deserving, but he should have been voted in long ago! Now, if he can keep his ego in check.

  8. Troy holm says:

    On June 5, 1970, I went to my very first Twins game!! with my father at Met stadium. (I was eight years old) after we found our seats, the ushers started handing out flyers to everyone and it said, introducing the new pitcher making his first major league start!!. it had his photograph and a brief bio. my father said, “you better hold onto that, someday he might turn out to be a great pitcher.” I should’ve listened to my father, because that pitcher is now in the Hall of Fame!!!! and of course it’s bert blyleven!!!! I would have tried to get bert to autograph that flyer, that was handed out 40 years ago!!!!

  9. Joe says:

    Would be great to have him toss out the first pitch at the first home game and have him circled on the big screen when he is done. I bet that game would be sold out! Then do something at Pittsburg, as he was great there as well. Will he go as a Twin? I’m guessing he will.

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