Alomar, Blyleven make Hall history

Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven, welcome to immortalization.

Roberto Alomar

AlomarAfter coming oh-so-close in his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, Alomar will be making the trip to Cooperstown, a long trip from his native Puerto Rico. Alomar will become the third player born in Puerto Rico to be enshrined, joining Roberto Clemente and Orlando Cepeda.

During the course of his 17-season MLB career, Alomar put up some pretty impressive numbers.

He made a dozen All-Star teams, won four Silver Slugger awards and played for two World Series winning teams, the 1992 and 1993 Toronto Blue Jays. Not to mention that he won 10 Gold Gloves, more than any other second baseman.

However, now might be the time to compare him to his Hall of Fame brethren, focusing on his being named on 90 percent of ballots.

Elected to Hall of Fame
On Second Year on Ballot

Alomar is the eighth player to be elected to the Hall of Fame on his second attempt, and of the previous seven, no player received a higher percentage of the votes than Alomar. That’s a list that includes players such as Yogi Berra, Nap Lajoie and Cy Young.

Heading to the mound, Blyleven finally got the call after his 14th appearance on the ballot. Players can only remain on the ballot for 15 years before their induction is up to the Veterans’ Committee.

Blyleven’s candidacy has been much-discussed, but there’s no disputing the facts that he ranks fifth on the all-time strikeouts list and ninth all-time in shutouts. Counting just the expansion era, dating back to 1961, Blyleven’s 60 shutouts rank only behind Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan, both of whom have 61.

He, like Alomar, won two World Series titles, with the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates and 1987 Minnesota Twins. Now, to go along with that hardware, he’ll have a plaque in the Hall of Fame.

Lowest Vote Pct on BBWAA Ballot
Eventually Inducted by BBWAA

At times, it looked like Blyleven was a longshot at best to get into the Hall. In 1999, his second year on the ballot, Blyleven received 14.1 percent of the vote, with 75 percent being needed for induction.

Dating back to 1968, when the current Hall of Fame balloting rules were implemented, only one player has received a lower percentage of the votes than Blyleven’s 14.1 percent and gone on to be elected. That was Luis Aparicio, who received just under 12 percent of the votes before his election.