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

Toronto - LP: A. Loup 4 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: J. Outman 6
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 2
Atlanta - LP: G. Schlosser 3 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Valverde 4
Seattle - LP: T. Wilhelmsen 2 FINAL
Miami - WP: M. Dunn 3
St. Louis - LP: S. Maness 2 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 3
Milwaukee - WP: Z. Duke 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Gomez 2
NY Yankees - WP: P. Claiborne 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: H. Bell 1
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: Y. Ventura 3
Cincinnati - WP: H. Bailey 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: C. Villanueva 2
Chicago WSox - WP: E. Johnson 16 FINAL
Texas - LP: R. Ross Jr. 2
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Chavez 4
Philadelphia - WP: J. Diekman 10 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 9
San Francisco - WP: T. Lincecum 4 FINAL
San Diego - LP: R. Erlin 3
Arizona - LP: J. Collmenter 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 4
Baltimore - LP: B. Matusz 5 FINAL
Boston - WP: E. Mujica 6
Dallas 85 FINAL
San Antonio 90
Charlotte 88 FINAL
Miami 99
Washington 102 FINAL
Chicago 93
Portland 122 FINAL
Houston 120
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
NY Rangers 2
Detroit 1 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
San Jose 7
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: How much optimism do you have in the Twins today?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close