Friday, April 4, 2014

199 - Bert Blyleven

About This Player

Bert Blyleven pitched in 22 big league seasons with five different teams and two tenures with the Minnesota Twins for a total of 11 seasons. Though born in the Netherlands, Blyleven was raised in California. He was drafted by the Twins in the 3rd round of the 1969 amateur draft and made his Major League debut the following year at the age of 19.

Blyleven, known for his wicked curveball, had one of his finest seasons in 1973. He led the American League in shutouts, pitched his only 20-win season, and was named an All-Star. Blyleven also pitched the first two of his four career one-hit games that season.

Blyleven was selected to the All-Star team twice (1973 and 1985). He lead the American League three times in shutouts. He pitched on two World Series winning teams (1979 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1987 Minnesota Twins). Despite never having lead either league in strikeouts, Blyleven ended his career third all-time in strikeouts behind Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton. (Blyleven currently ranks fifth.)

Blyleven was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011.  In the same season, the Minnesota Twins retired number #28 in his honor.

About This Card
The back of his Topps card calls Blyleven "one of the finest young pitchers in the American League." More than a fine pitcher, Blyleven would go on to complete a Hall of Fame career.

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