Thursday, January 6, 2011

2011 Hall of Fame Week: Blyleven in '11

It took over half of my life but Bert Blyleven was finally elected to the National Baseball Hall-of-Fame.  In that 14-year journey there were many ups and downs for the Flying Dutchman.  He saw his percentage rise from the mid-teens to just missing election last year.  Now he has the one accomplishment that he has wanted for over a decade.

It is going to be a whirlwind seven months for Blyleven before his plaque is placed in Cooperstown.  He started Wednesday in his home in Fort Myers, FL.  Last night he traveled to Cooperstown, NY to get a tour of the Hall and to prepare for a press conference.  In a few week Blyleven will get a warm greeting form Twins fans at Twins Fest in Blaine, MN.  Pitchers and catchers report to Ft. Myers in February.  The 2011 MLB Season will begin and before you know it inauguration day will be arrive.  Sunday, July 24, 2011 will be the magical day for Blyleven, his family, and fans across Twins Territory.

There most surely will be many other celebrations at Target Field this season to honor the career of Circle Me Bert.  Here are just a few of the things that have a possibility of happening at Target Field this season.

  • #28 gets retired.  This might be a long shot but all of the other players that have gone into the Hall-of-Fame as Twins have had their number retired.  There is a good chance that Blyleven will go into the Hall with the TC logo on his hat so retiring his number could be the next step.
  • A Bert Blyleven statue on Target Plaza.  The Twins have discussed adding new statues to the path that fans follow in the stadium.  Future statues could include Kent Hrbek, Tony Oliva, and now Bert Blyleven.
  • A bobblehead (Hall-of-Fame Edition, of course)  The Twins have already had one bobblehead to honor the curve-ball throwing pitcher.  Another new edition could be in order for the 2011 season.  There was only one bobblehead day in the Inaugural Season at Target Field. Hopefully that number increases for the 2011 and one of those nodders will be Mr. Blyleven. 
It's going to be a wild ride for Blyleven in 2011.  There will a plethora of Twins fans that make the pilgrimage to the mecca of baseball in New York.  Fans with baby blue jersey's with the number 28 will sprawl across the field to support the player and commentator that has meant so much to the Twins organization.

Congratulations to Bert!  It's great to be able to say that I have been circled by a Hall-of-Famer.  Thanks Bert for all the memories and for the crazy year that you will bring to Twins Territory.
Here are some of my favorite video clips from the great FSN North coverage yesterday:

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