MINNEAPOLIS -- The long and mysterious wait for the Hall of Fame continues for former pitcher Bert Blyleven.In results released by the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Blyleven finished seventh with 211 votes, or 40.9 percent of the 516 ballots cast. Eligible players needed 387 votes or 75 percent for induction to Cooperstown.
| 2005 Hall of Fame
The complete vote (516 ballots, 387 to gain election, 26 to remain on ballot):
Wade, Ryno are Hall choices
No doubts about Class of 2005
Boggs hits his way to the Hall
Ryno charges into Hall of Fame
Red Sox lavish praise on Boggs
Rays react to Boggs Hall call
From Beantown to Bronx to Hall
Sutter closing in on Hall of Fame
Boggs is fans' favorite to make Hall
Other former Twins were less fortunate. Pitcher Jack Morris finished ninth with 172 votes or 33.3 percent. Outfielder Chili Davis picked up just three votes and catcher Terry Steinbach just one vote. Davis and Steinbach were on less than five percent of ballots cast and therefore are not eligible for future Hall of Fame elections.Only Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg received enough votes for enshrinement in 2005 from the Baseball Writers Association of America. Boggs tallied 91.9 percent of the vote, while Sandberg totaled 76.2 percent. They will be inducted July 31. While the voters didn't agree, Blyleven's career statistics indicate he belongs on the same stage with Boggs, Sandberg and other Hall of Famers. In a career that spanned from 1970-92 with the Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Indians and Angels, he won 287 games and posted 3,701 strikeouts -- fifth on the all-time list. There are also the 60 shutouts that have him listed as ninth all-time and the 4,970 innings pitched, good for 13th all-time. Everybody ahead of Blyleven on both lists is a member of the Hall of Fame. He also won World Series rings with Pittsburgh in 1979 and Minnesota in 1987. "I think he should be in too," Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew said Tuesday after learning the results. "I don't know why they keep bypassing him." "For some reason, the writers either want more or I'll never get in," Blyleven said in November about why the Hall has eluded him. Had Blyleven won 300 games, he'd likely be an automatic Hall of Famer. Every player to have reached that milestone is already in. Blyleven's 287 wins is 25th all-time. Tommy John (288 wins) is the only other eligible modern-era pitcher with more victories that isn't in the Hall. "There are an awful lot of guys with 300 wins that didn't have the stats Bert did," said Killebrew, who was a Twins teammate of Blyleven's from 1970-74. "I think it's terrible they've overlooked him like that. I say it every year. I guess I'll have to say it again." This was Blyleven's eighth year on the Hall of Fame ballot. If he continues to garner at least five percent of the vote, he will be eligible for election another seven years. Since becoming eligible for the Hall in 1998, the 51-year-old Blyleven's name has moved up the election results list -- but not exactly with a bullet. After not crossing the 30 percent mark over his first six years on the ballot, he finally received 35.9 percent of the vote in 2004. Now he picked up another five percent and another year's worth of more debate about his chances of getting in next year. "He was as good as there was for a long time," Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett said last month. "Bert is up there with the toughest four or five guys I faced in my career. "The writers never had to face him. If they did, they'd vote for him."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.