Fans to celebrate as Blyleven's No. 28 is retired

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 16, 2011 - 1:33 AM

The Twins will retire Bert Blyleven's number Saturday night in a pregame ceremony at Target Field, putting No. 28 on an exclusive list that includes Harmon Killebrew's No. 3, Tony Oliva's No. 6, Kent Hrbek's No. 14, Rod Carew's No. 29 and Kirby Puckett's No. 34.

For Blyleven, this kicks off a big week, leading up to his Hall of Fame induction on July 24 in Cooperstown, N.Y. First, he will be honored by the team that brought him to the big leagues in 1970.

"Target Field is going to be here a long time, and maybe 50 years from now, some kid will ask, 'Who was No. 28?' " Blyleven said. "Hopefully their father or grandfather will explain what I did."

Blyleven went 149-138 with a 3.28 ERA and 2,035 strikeouts over 11 seasons with the Twins. He was with them from 1970 to 1976 and returned from 1985 to '88.

Asked about Killebrew and some of the other Twins greats he played with, Blyleven said, "I was very fortunate to come up in an organization like the Twins that had the leaders they had."

Blyleven said he still hasn't finished his speech for Cooperstown and admitted he is a little nervous.

"To me it's a day of saying thank you in the 45 minutes they give you to speak," said Blyleven, who was 287-250 with a 3.31 ERA and 3,701 strikeouts in his career. "It's going to be a long one. I may go over an hour. Just kidding."

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