MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Number 28 is getting 86’d in honor of one of the Minnesota Twins’ most respected players.

Bert Blyleven will be honored in a ceremony before Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Royals.

It’s only the seventh time the Twins have ever retired a number. The previous six were numbers 3, 29, 6, 14, 34 and 42, which respectively belonged to Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett and Jackie Robinson.

The ceremony will also include placement of special logos on the field along the foul lines and behind the pitchers’ mount, as well as ceremonial first pitch by George Mitterwald, who was Blyleven’s first catcher in the Major League.

This is all in anticipation of Blyleven’s impending induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

The induction weekend is scheduled for July 22 through 25. Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick are also being inducted this year.

Comments (10)
  1. mutt says:

    Who will introduce Bert at Cooperstown?

  2. Mark Carlson says:

    It’s about time! I can’t believe that Nick hasn’t commented on this yet!


    They should retire his commentary on TV also!

    1. Steve says:

      Bert provides far better (and more entertaining) commentary than any others I’ve heard over the years, both here and other cities’ teams!

  4. Crank says:

    A marginal player, in a marginal sport, from a marginal era, with a Barry Bonds type personality. Really?

    1. You are also says:

      an idiot.

  5. minnesota fats says:

    1970’s he was greatest pitcher of all time! that curve ball kilz me!

  6. zee the reporter says:

    Speed: 74-88 mph.

    The Masters: Bert Blyleven, Mike Mussina, Barry Zito.

    The Lowdown: There’s an absolute consensus in baseball that former 22-year major league veteran Bert Blyleven had the best curveball ever.

    “You can teach anyone to throw it,” Blyleven said. “I don’t know what made mine better other than the proper mechanics. The key is to get your fingers above the ball.”

    The curveball is less about grip and more about arm motion. The pitcher needs to get his fingers above the ball and then sharply snap his wrist and elbow down as he is letting go of the pitch. That creates a heavy topspin that forces the ball down.

    Blyleven’s curve, though, appeared to go up, then down.

    “I can’t explain that one,” Blyleven said.

    If a pitcher throws using a more sidearm motion, the ball will curve from left to right or right to left.

    Blyleven knew when to use it. Because it was so good, hitters looked for it. But some games, Blyleven would go innings without throwing it. Just the threat kept hitters guessing.

    Oh, and one more thing.

    “I didn’t start throwing it until I was 14 or 15,” Blyleven said. “You shouldn’t throw a curveball before then. A 12-year-old’s arm isn’t developed enough to throw it, and if you want to throw it, your arm has to be developed and you have to use the proper mechanics.”

    Maybe that’s why Blyleven went on the disabled list only twice even though he threw curve after curve through nearly 5,000 innings.