Bert Blyleven timeline: A lifetime of baseball

  • Updated: July 23, 2011 - 8:47 AM
hide

Bert Blyleven.

Photo: John Croft, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Here is a timeline of Bert Blyleven's baseball career. Hyperlinks with many of the dates will take you to material from sources including Star Tribune and other archives, and statistics from baseball-reference.com.

April 6, 1951 -- Rik Aalbert Blyleven born in the Netherlands. His father moves the family to Canada when Bert was 2 and to California when he was 5. Blyleven was raised in Garden Grove, Cal., where his father, Joe, built a pitcher’s mound in the backyard of the family home.

1966-69 – Blyleven attends Santiago High School, where he stars in baseball and runs cross country

June 1969 – Selected by the Twins in the third round of MLB’s amateur draft.

July-Sept. 1969 – Compiles a 7-2 record and 2.09 ERA with two Twins minor-league teams.

April 1970 – Assigned to Class AA Evansville, where he makes seven starts before getting called up to the majors.

June 5, 1970 – Makes major league debut against Washington Senators. Gives up home run to first batter he faces, Lee Maye, and wins the game 2-1. Blyleven had a 10-9 record and 3.18 ERA

1970 – Named American League rookie pitcher of the year by The Sporting News.

1973 – Led the American League with nine shutouts and posted a 20-17 record. Pitched 325 innings.

1976 – Involved in a contract dispute with owner Calvin Griffith, who sought to trade Blyleven.

May 31, 1976 – Made obscene gesture at fans at Metropolitan Stadium when he walked off mound after a loss to the Angels, the final start of his stint with the Twins.

June 1, 1976 – Traded to Texas in a deal that brought Roy Smalley, three other players and $250,000 to Minnesota.

Sept. 22, 1977 – Pitched a no-hitter against California in his final start of the season.

Dec. 8, 1977 – Traded from Texas to Pittsburgh.

1978 – Led Pittsburgh in ERA, complete games and strikeouts.

1979 – Blyleven goes 12-5 on 37 starts and the Pirates win the World Series. Blyleven is the winning pitcher in Game 3 of the NLCS and Game 5 (pitching in relief) of the World Series.

May `1, 1980 – Leaves the team after 15 games and asks to be traded, citing “non-support and lack of confidence” from manager Chuck Tanner. He returns 10 days later and finishes the season 8-13.

Dec. 9, 1980 – Traded from Pittsburgh to Cleveland.

1982 – Elbow injury limits Blyleven to four starts.

1984 – Has spectacular season, going 19-7 with a 2.87 ERA for a Cleveland team that finished 75-87. Finished third in Cy Young voting behind two relief pitchers.

Aug. 1, 1985 – Returns to the Twins in a trade with Cleveland. Finishes the season by going 8-5, 300 for the Twins in 14 starts.

Aug. 1, 1986 – Blyleven get his 3,000th strikeout against Oakland, pitching a two-hitter against Oakland in a 15-strikeout performance.

1986 – Sets a major league record by giving up 50 home runs, including 27 solo home runs and 18 with one runner on base.

1987 – Blyleven goes 15-12, 4-01 for the World Series-winning Twins. Blyeleven wins both of his ALCS starts and goes 1-1 during the World Series, winning Game 2 and losing Game 5.

1988 – In final season with Twins, Blyelven goes 10-17 with a career-high 5.43 ERA. It was the third time in his career that he’d lost 17 games in a season.

Nov. 3, 1988 – Traded to California as part of a five-player deal.

1989 – Goes 17-5 with 2.73 ERA for the Angels, leading the AL in shutouts with five. Finished fourth in Cy Young Award balloting.

1991 – Missed the entire season with rotator cuff surgery and then pitched one final season for the Angels in 1992.

1993 – Went to training camp with the Twins, but didn’t make the team and said that he was officially retired.

1996 – Blyleven joins the Twins as a TV commentator.

1998 – In first year of Hall of Fame eligibility, gets named on only 17.6 percent of ballots. His total dropped to 14.1 percent the following year.

2002 – Inducted into the Twins’ Hall of Fame.

2004 – A California blogger, Rich Lederer, starts making a statistical case for Blyleven’s inclusion in the Hall of Fame. Blyleven was named that year on slightly more than one-third of ballots; 75 percent is needed to get into Cooperstown.

2005 – Blyleven reaches the 40 percent mark for the first time.

September 2006 – Blyleven was suspended briefly by the Twins for cursing on the air before a Twins-Yankees game. He thought the segment that he botched was being recorded, but it was live.

2009 – Serves as pitching coach for the Dutch national team during the World Baseball Classic. The Dutch finish second in a major surprise.

2010 – Blyleven named on 74.2 percent of Hall of Fame votes – coming five votes short of being elected.

Jan. 5, 2011 – Blyleven and Roberto Alomar are elected. It was the 14th year of eligibility, for Blyleven, his next-to-last chance. “It’s been 14 years of praying and waiting,” he said.

July 16, 2011 -- Number is retired during pregame ceremony at Target Field.

Sunday – Bert will be inducted to the Hall of Fame during ceremonies in Cooperstown, N.Y.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins' offseason moves so far?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close