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Bert Blyleven Elected to Hall of Fame

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It is about time.


The historical and statistical case for Blyleven is obvious and doesn't need to be rehashed here. But his brief minor league career was interesting too. He was a third round pick in 1969, out of high school in Garden Grove, California. The Twins sent him to the Gulf Coast League for his professional introduction, where he pitched 32 innings with a 39/11 K/BB and a 2.81 ERA. His curveball was so impressive that they bumped him up to the Florida State League that August, where he made five starts with a 5-0 record and a 1.46 ERA, 41/14 K/BB in 37 innings.

Blyleven was so impressive in spring training in 1970 that he began the year in Triple-A at age 19, making seven starts with a 63/12 K/BB in 54 innings with a 2.54 ERA. He was promoted to Minnesota late in the spring, going 10-9, 3.18 with a 135/47 K/BB in 164 innings as 19 year old rookie. Aside from a handful of rehab outings 22 years later, he never saw the minors again. Not bad for a third round pick.