Former Pirates passed over by Hall
Blyleven finishes fourth in voting; others well short of induction
PITTSBURGH -- Pitcher Bert Blyleven finished fourth in this year's Hall of Fame vote, but neither he, nor any other former Pirates were elected to the 2009 Hall of Fame class.
All-time stolen base leader Rickey Henderson and former Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice were the only two players who received the 75 percent of votes needed for enshrinement in Cooperstown.
After earning 61.9 percent of the vote last year, Blyleven received 338 of the 539 votes cast by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. That equates to 62.7 percent for Blyleven, who was on the ballot for the 12th time.
Blyleven spent three of his 22 Major League seasons with Pittsburgh and won at least 12 games as a starter in each of those seasons. He made at least 32 starts in each of those years. Blyleven's ERA during his time with the Pirates was 3.47.
Three other ex-Pirates -- Dave Parker, Jay Bell and Dan Plesac -- were on the ballot, though none came close to induction. Of the three, Parker will be the only one to return to the ballot in 2010. Parker received 81 votes (15 percent) after getting 15.1 percent of the vote one year ago. His highest vote total came in 1998, when the right fielder was listed on 24.5 percent of the ballots.
Bell received two votes, and Plesac received none. Both were on the ballot for the first time.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.