Monday, November 30, 2009

Bert Blyleven and the Case of the Missing Hall of Famer

The system is broke. The election system to Cooperstown has several flaws, most notably being that the Veterans Committee has turned it into their own exclusive boy's club that appears to not want to add deserving players over politics, opinion, and innuendo.

I couldn't agree more with this article from Sportsology:

"How is Bert Blyleven not in the Hall of Fame?

At 19, he was the youngest player in the majors in 1970. The former big league hurler was 287 and 250 with a 3.31 ERA w/ 242 complete games, 60 shutouts, won 20 once, 4969.99 IP, 4632 hits and 1322 walks, 3701 K’s, was once 19-7 and 17-5. He played for the Twins, Indians, Pirates, Texas and the Angels. He had one of the best curveballs ever! He pitched a no-hitter. His playoff and World Series numbers speak volumes LCS 24 IP 3-0 2.59 ERA, WS 23 IP 2-1 2.35ERA. When he retired he was the second active K leader to Nolan Ryan. He is #11 all-time in games started. Eight out of the 11 are in the Hall and Greg Maddux will be the ninth! He played 22 seasons.

If you want to compare him to somebody look no further than Phil Niekro. Phil had 318 wins and 274 losses pitching in two more seasons. He did have three 20-win seasons but after that he pales in comparison. Niekro struck out 3,342 a nice number but not the same. His career-ERA is higher at 3.35 as compared to a 3.31. Niekro had 45 shutouts as compared to Blyleven’s 60. Niekro’s LCS numbers are weak, 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA.

If he doesn’t get in because he has 287 and not 300 wins then that’s stupid. Remember Dave Kingman had 442 home runs with a .236 batting average. Would he have gotten in with 500 home runs and that batting average? Is a home run more important than a win or just more fashionable? Here are some players that are in the Hall with less than 500 home runs; Lou Gehrig 493, Stan Musial 475, Willie Stargell 475, Dave Winfield 465, Carl Yastrzemski 452. All of these players are in the Hall of Fame.

Milestones help gauge a player’s greatness but milestones change as the game changes. There will be a lot of players in the future that will get a lot less than 300 wins and Blyleven should get in. He deserves it."

His 1971 Topps RC, with the infamous, condition sensitive borders can be readily found on eBay and won't cost you an arma and a leg.

3 comments:

Carl Crawford Cards said...

This is all true and, like you said, evidence the system is broken. And let's not forget, we were sweating it out this year over whether or not Captain Intangibles would win MVP.

Anonymous said...

Because he is just a .500 pitcher. He was never one of the top three pitchers any year that he pitched. Greatest = (a combination of) dominance + durability. He has the durability aspect as he lasted a long time but in that time he was never dominate. I don't think he ever finished in the top 3 of any year for Cy Young Voting.

Scott said...

Classy guy. Classy signature.

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