Baseball BeatJanuary 04, 2011
J.P. Morosi, FOXSports: Aficionado Heavily Invested in Blyleven
By Rich Lederer

Jon Paul Morosi featured me in an article currently teased on the front page of The URL reads "bert-blyleven-hall-of-fame-bid-rides-on-sabermetrics-loving-blogger."

If you hurry on over to that link as fast as members of my family did, the following screenshot can be viewed live by waiting for or clicking on the number 5 on the right-hand side of the window. Or you can go to the MLB page and wait for it to scroll to the number 1, which corresponds to the title "No. 1 Fan: Investing guru turned blogger is out to save Blyleven from HOF snub."


Morosi, who is a national MLB writer for, interviewed me on Monday. He sent an email Sunday evening asking if he could arrange a date and time to talk about Bert Blyleven with the Baseball Hall of Fame announcement forthcoming on Wednesday. We hit it off and talked for nearly two hours.

The headline that is attached to the article is "Aficionado heavily invested in Blyleven," a play on words owing to my profession as an investment manager. I'll take aficionado over internet zealot any day.

Rich Lederer is an investment manager. Stock and bond portfolios are his thing. He is the president and chief investment officer of Lederer & Associates Investment Counsel in Long Beach, Calif.

But Lederer loved batting averages long before calculating his first P/E ratio. He is a baseball guy. His father, the late George Lederer, covered the Los Angeles Dodgers for the Long Beach Independent-Press-Telegram through their first 11 seasons on the West Coast.

Lederer has since taken up the family business — as a hobby. In 2003, he founded a baseball blog, now called He writes at night, after his real job is done. The website hasn’t made him rich or famous. Yet, his words may soon resonate through the game’s most hallowed corridors.

If Bert Blyleven is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, he will have Rich Lederer to thank.

Morosi then highlights Blyleven's achievements, discusses Bert's voting trends, the "grassroots campaign," how he is polling this year, my father (including a photo of him showing off the first foul ball that he caught in the press box at Dodger Stadium in 1962), and concludes with the following:

“The Internet flattens the world a little and allows someone like me to have a say, an audience, and indirectly participate in the discussion,” Rich Lederer said. “I enjoy that. If not for the Internet, it would be next to impossible for me to have an impact on those types of things. It’s been a great vehicle. People say there have been more words written about Bert’s candidacy than anyone else in the history of the Hall of Fame.”

If the wait ends on Wednesday, happy blog postings will spring up around the web, from mainstream and sabermetric writers alike.

Then they will face the question: Which cause comes next?

I have someone in mind, but it will remain a secret until Blyleven earns his just reward.


Here are four links on the same subject:

  • Craig Calcaterra: The man who sold the BBWAA on Bert Blyleven

  • Anthony Maggio: It's time for Bert's call to the Hall (which includes a short video honoring Bert)

  • Joe Christensen: Voters slowly have joined Bert's fan club

  • Glenn Miller: Is this finally Bert Blyleven's year?

    ...and one on Jeff Bagwell:

  • Jerry Crasnick: Jeff Bagwell is a Hall of Famer

    In August, Richard Lederer of the Baseball Analyst's Web site stacked the career numbers for Bagwell and Chipper Jones side-by-side and said the two players should be "slam-dunk, first-ballot Hall of Famers." Bagwell ranks 37th all-time among position players with a WAR (wins above replacement) rating of 80. He's ahead of Pete Rose, Paul Molitor, Reggie Jackson and several other baseball greats in WAR, which combines offense, defense, baserunning and a player's position to determine how many added wins he gives a team when compared to a baseline "replacement level" substitute.

    Factoring in all the numbers, Lederer wrote that Bagwell is arguably the fourth-best first baseman ever behind Gehrig, Foxx and Albert Pujols.

    Thanks to Jon, Craig, Anthony, Joe, Glenn, and Jerry, as well as all the tweeters out there.

  • Comments

    I will give you 24 hours, perhaps 48 if I am feeling generous, to gloat a little tomorrow afternoon (and perhaps do a few interviews). After that, the Tim Raines Campaign shall take over all of your free time. Let it be done.

    I've been on the Blyleven campaign bandwagon since 1999, and I've been following your Bert Blyleven series every year since 2003. Thank you for everything you've done for Blyleven's Hall of Fame cause, and it's great to see that you've been getting the credit that you deserve!

    Dang, Mark. I wanted to be the first person to post guessing that Tim Raines would be the next cause... but you beat me to the punch. Good work.

    Let's hope all of Rich's good work over the years pays off today.

    *crosses fingers*

    Bert Blyleven is finally in! Here's hoping he asks you to present him on induction day.

    seeing Heyman squirm on MLB Network for the announcement was pretty entertaining.

    Congratulations Rich. You have helped prove that reason can, in the end, triumph over ignorance.

    Rich, I've never met you, but you were the first person I thought of when I saw the news. A big day for both of you. Congratulations!

    Congrats on helping Blyleven get in. My first memory of him was Pittsburgh 1979.

    Who are the two Giants next to Blyleven? Is that Darrel Evans and Count Montefusco?

    Thanks everyone. It's been a joyous day to say the least. If not for the Internet and all of our readers and links around the baseball blogosphere, none of this would have been possible.

    @Artieboy: The two Giants to the left of Blyleven are John Montefusco and Ed Halicki. The common thread? No hitters all.

    I've been touting Bert on a few other forums I'm on. I have a variety of stats and comparisons that show Bert was better than all but two of his contemporaries who were in already in the HOF. Bert was better than Carlton, Ryan, Hunter, Sutton and Niekro. Only Seaver and Palmer were better.

    People will point to Ryan's no-hitters and one-hitters but that doesn't match up to Bert's 15 complete game 1-0 wins. Only Christy Matthewson and Walther Johnson had more such wins. One of Bert's 1-0 wins was an 11-inning affair and two others were 10-inning affairs, which occured in back-to-back decisions in 1976. Winning close games with minimal run support shows true dominance and winning with only 1-run of support is as minimal as it gets.

    People will point out Carlton's higher number of K's but if you subtract out K's of pitchers Bert moves ahead of Carlton. Carlton pitched nearly his entire career in the NL while Bert pitched 70% of his career facing the DH instead of a pitcher.

    I don't need saber stats to tell me how great Bert was. I just need to look at all the other more "normal" stats (ERA+, WHIP, number of baserunners needed to score a run off of him, etc.) and distill them to know how great Bert was. It's nice to see the voters finally stopped compounding their ignorance with stupidty.