The National Baseball Hall of Fame has announced its 2011 class, and Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar will join the greats in Cooperstown. Blyleven, who missed election by just five votes last year, garnered 463 of 581 votes (79.7%), in his 14th year on the ballot. Alomar, who fell eight votes shy of induction in 2010, his first year on the ballot, received a whopping 90% of the vote. To be elected, a player must be named on 75% of ballots by the Baseball Writers Association of America.â†µ
Blyleven pitched the final three seasons of his career in Anaheim with the Angels, going 17-5 with a 2.73 ERA at age 38 in 1989. Blyleven won 287 games in his 22 seasons, and is fifth on the all-time strikeout list with 3,701 punchouts.He is also ninth all-time with 60 shutouts. He finished in the top 10 in his league in adjusted ERA in 12 different seasons, including in the top five seven times. Blyleven was a part of two World Series champions, the 1979 Pirates and 1987 Twins, and he was 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA in his postseason career.â†µ
Alomar hit .300/.371/.443 in 17 seasons, and was generally considered one of the best, if not the best second basemen of his era. Alomar was a 12-time All-Star and a 10-time Gold Glove winner, and hit.313/.381/.448 in 58 postseason games. He was a key member of the back-to-back World Series-winning Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993.â†µ
Interestingly, Alomar played for seven teams in his career, and Blyleven pitched for five teams. The Hall of Fame has the final decision as to which cap will be displayed on the plaque in Cooperstown, and it seems likely that Blyleven will enter the Hall as a Minnesota Twin, for whom he pitched 11 seasons. Alomar spread his teams out fairly evenly, but he played the most, five seasons, for Toronto, and won two World Series as a Blue Jay, so that's an easy call.