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June 1, 2002: Blyleven honored, roasted by Twins

  • Article by: LA VELLE E. NEAL III
  • Star Tribune
  • July 19, 2011 - 11:22 AM

Bert Blyleven was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame before
Saturday's game, his banner unfurled 465 feet from home plate. The
only way a home run ball would hit it, the joke went, was if
Blyleven, who gave up a record 50 homers one year, was still pitching.

Several people were prepared for this ceremony.

Angels coach and former Twin Mickey Hatcher came on the field to
shake Blyleven's hand - but pulled out a pair of scissors and cut
off Blyleven's tie.

"Bert Blyleven was the sickest player of all time," Hatcher said
of Blyleven's antics.

Radio announcer Herb Carneal had material, too.

"Bert is one of only two pitchers to win a game before he was 20
and after he turned 40," Carneal said. "It was those 20 years in
between that were a problem."

So did former Twins manager Tom Kelly, who said he had a sore
neck throughout the 1987 season from watching opponents' homers off
Blyleven leave the park.

"Bert, I have a bill from my chiropractor for 1987," Kelly said.
"Could you please help me settle this up?"

Three video presentations were shown, including one full of home
runs hit off of Blyleven.

There were plenty of serious moments, too, for the man who won
287 games and is fourth all-time with 3,701 strikeouts and ninth
with 60 shutouts.

"This should be the first of two Hall of Fame ceremonies he'll
enjoy," said Dick Bremer, Blyleven's frequent foil on Fox Sports
Net broadcasts.

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