Tuesday, January 19, 2016

#515 Bert Blyleven

Story of redemption, story of comebacks..... Minnesota icon and HOFer....but not exactly a smooth relationship at times with the great north country...but time and a WS ring heals wounds....Born in Holland....Teenage debut 1970...debut start against Washington Senators June 5, 1970....gave up a lead off home run to Lee Maye but buckled down got the win....chalked up 9 more win in rookie season...then started an ascendency peaking to 20 win in 1973.....had a reputation as having the best curve ball in the game at the time....record would have been better with timely Twins hitting....Even though Bert remained consistent in the Twin Cities he eventually appeared to be frustrated with team and fans....gave fans a one finger salute he walked off the field just prior to being traded to Texas....Pitching consistently won 10 or more games from rookie season on to 10th....yet his good effort but diminished wins style resulted in travels took that him to Pittsburgh, and Cleveland...ups (WS ring 1979, 19 wins 1984) and downs (missing nearly all of 1982 and struggling 1983) ....a late 1985 playoff push returns Bert to Minnesota...paired with Frank Viola became the team’s 1-2 punch.... draw back led AL in home run surrendered two years running....Took over Twins #2 starter spot in the team’s improbable World Series win given their 85-78 1987 record...Burt faulted in ‘88 losing 17 while only winning 10....Trade to Angels for 1989 rejuvenated him, going 17-5 and garnering Comeback Player award....Alas Bert started to show his age in next three years, injured all of 1991, and won a total of 16 wins in 1990 and 1992....After playing, Bert returns one more time to Minnestoa this time as a broadcaster ”Circle Me Bert”...a post he has held for 20 years...elected to baseball hall of fame 2011....final tally:  287 wins in 22 years.

2 comments:

  1. this is a beautiful card overall. usually the 1972 design overwhelms the picture but here the angle, distance, background and colors (blues, browns, road gray uni) all combine well. HOF card of a HOFer.

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  2. I was thinking same thing when I was posting. The Twins card seem to have a lighter shade of blue than Orioles, Cardinals, Padres. Brewers, or Pirates. Then again I am bias because the Twins are my true hometown team, the obsession of my childhood.

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