Thirteen times, the name "Bert Blyleven" has appeared on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Thirteen times, the man from the Netherlands has been passed over for any number of other candidates. . .some greater, some equal, and many lesser.
In approximately half an hour, Blyleven will find out if the fourteenth time is the charm.
Today, Major League Baseball will announce the results of this year's Hall of Fame voting, and Blyleven is once again at the top of the list of candidates to get into Cooperstown. He and Roberto Alomar, one of the game's all-time great second basemen, are considered the leading candidates for enshrinement this year.
We've all seen the numbers from Blyleven before. . .sixty career shutouts (more than Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens combined), 242 complete games, 3,701 career strikeouts (good for fifth place on the all-time list in that category), 287 career victories, a career ERA of 3.31, and two World Series rings (one with the Twins in 1987, and one with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979). He also possessed what may have been the best curve ball that anybody has ever seen on a Major League Baseball diamond.
Last season, Blyleven garnered 74.2% of the vote, missing enshrinement into Cooperstown by a mere five votes. It's hard to imagine in a year when there's only one shoo-in first-time candidate (Alomar) that he won't pick up those five votes.
You can tune into the MLB Network online and watch a live stream of their Hall of Fame special, along with the announcement that will be coming at approximately 1 PM Central time.