Baseball BeatJanuary 05, 2011
The Results Are In And...
By Rich Lederer



I sent you an email, but congratulations to Bert and to you for all of your fine work. Looking forward to his speech.

Congrats Bert. Congrats Rich.


Job well done, Rich.

Finally! Congrats Rich-- all of your hard work and your dedication paid off. Congrats to Bert as well.

Up next... Tim Raines

Hopefully, he asks you to present him on induction day as a thank-you for all of your hard work.

Okay, let's start lobbying the VC on Grich.

Maseltov, Rich.

Congrats to Bert and to Rich. I am truly inspired that one person, using logic and intellectual honesty, can get something like this done. Maybe Rich should run for Congress.

Congratulations, Bert, and great job Rich!

Grew up watching Bert at old Met Stadium, then was thrilled when he returned to Minnesota and helped pitch us to a world title in tht magical year of 1987.

Thanks, Rich, for a great, great assist. All us Twins fans are delighted to have another one of our own in Cooperstown.

Congratulations, Bert. You truly belong in Cooperstown. As a former catcher, I would have loved to try and catch a few of your curves. Hint: You owe Rich a plane ticket from L.A. to Cooperstown.

Ya done good, Rich. Make that you did an exceptional job. You were a determined, intelligent and articulate advocate for a deserving candidate. You handled the knuckleheads and blowhards with dignity. Heyman must be shrieking like a wounded werewolf by now.

Next campaign(s)? How about Raines and Trammell?

Now, what are you going to do with your time?

But seriously folks, I suggest you move your massive, Oprahesque HOF voter sway on rectifying the snubs of Bagwell, Larkin, Raines, and Edgar Martinez.

Congratulations to Bert, who certainly deserved it, and also to Rich, for making a clear, simple case for Bert's inclusion in Cooperstown.

Congratulations to both of you. I bet all of your work helped Blyleven get in. Now how about some free investment advice?

santo next??

Rich - this is a great day for baseball, and thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of intelligent and passionate baseball fans everywhere.

Congratulations to both you and Bert, rich.

Baseball blogging's crowning achievement - so happy for Rich and pleased for Bert. Hooray!

Atta boy, Rich

Mazel tov Rich!!!

Everyone's now invited to my place for cookies and Tim Raines snub-related indignation.

I've got Bert down for the win and Rich down for the save.

CONGRATS BERT!!!! You are one of the GREATEST of ALL time!!!

Congratulations to Bert and thank you Rich for the way you focused the arguments so clearly and intelligently. It educated all of us beyond just the Blyleven case.

It seems that Larkin has a good chance next year, and I think Jonah Keri is aboard the Raines train to Cooperstown, so that case should be handled expertly. My vote for the next campaign, assuming you are ready for one, is Bagwell.

Congrats Bert and Rich!

As an umpire in all leagues from t-ball to mens senior for the past 15 years, I still believe one of the most breathtaking sites is squatting behind the catcher & watching a curveball freeze someone in the batter's box. I have been behind the plate for old studs to young guns trying to impress everyone with how hard they throw. But, it never ceases to amaze me when someone can make a baseball move in an unexplainable fashion. I can not believe that Kershaw kid is not compared to Blyleven more often-he may throw harder, but man when he breaks one off it is nothing short of amazing. I am really glad Mr. Blyleven finally made it. He has been worthy of this honor for a long time. Thanks to you Rich, for your all your effort on the behalf of the "unloved". Now, I am just trying to figure out if Tim Raines is ready for this much admiration. Keep up the good work

There is justice! Delayed, maybe, but justice!

congratulations, bert. bless you, rich.


I understand you are partly responsible for Bert B. finally getting enough votes for the Hall of Fame.

I congratulate you on your success. You deserve it.
However, Bert Blyleven does not deserve it!
Any player who was not considered one of the best during his
playing days——only 2 All Star game designations in 20 years——does NOT deserve to be considered among the best in history!

However, YOU deserve it . . for making your take on statistics say what Bert's playing career never said.
If one is not even an All Star, he is not a Hall of Famer.

Congrats! Blyleven owes you a fruit basket.

Glad to see the persistence pay off. Congrats!

Dr. Domske, may I point you to the numerous articles in the sidebar for Blyleven's case? You sound like many BBWAA members five and six years ago that thought All-Star appearances were valid evidence for (or against) one's Hall of Fame case!

Way to go, Dad...looking forward to our return trip back to Cooperstown this summer!


'atta boy. Now what time will you be home by?

Congratulations. Your logical discussions were imperative in getting Blyleven elected.

Good works are their own reward, aren't they, Rich?

You did good.

Congratulations to Bert Blyleven on his induction, and thanks to Rich for all of your hard work!

Oops. Looks like I'm getting ahead of myself. The induction ceremony is not until July. This year will be a good year to go!


Great news that Bert finally made to the hall of fame! Big nod to Rich and this site for working hard to get the writers to open their eyes and get a clue so they would finally do the right thing! Congrats to Bert!

Congratulations, Bert.

Rich, I have followed your research on Bert and his HOF qualifications. It is truly amazing how metrics and persuasion have come together to provide this result.

way to go!

It's a great day for the HOF, for Bert Blyleven, and for you Rich! Congratulations on your hard work and success in helping to get Bert the honor he deserves. I'm circling the date that the Hall circles Bert! Congrats again to both of you!

Congratulations, Rich!

Finally - Blyleven is in the HOF, as he's deserved for years. And you played a huge part in making that reality, Rich. Kudos.

Congrats Bert! And I salute Rich for the successful crusade...

When it comes to HOFers, I'm pretty easy. But I see three pitchers on a similar plateau when it comes to career W-L record. That would be Blyleven, Jim Kaat and Tommy John.

Of the three Tommy John has a higher profile. He should go in first. After that, we can think about Kaat and Blyleven. The biggest problem with HOF voters is that they look too much at career statistics and too little at who the player was in the game at the time they played.

The guy who's getting the HOF shaft right now is Jeff Bagwell. One complaint is that his statistics fell off suddenly at age 35, creating the suspicion that he been on steroids or some other PED. Sorry, that's one of the characteristics of someone who is not juiced. Often they fall out of the game around 35, even earlier. Another characteristic of PED players is that they seem to be different players at different times in their careers. Not so with Bagwell. He was consistently the same player for more than 10 years once he reached his peak.

In the long run, I think players like Roy Sievers, Dick Allen, Will Clark, and Billy Pierce will be in the Hall of Fame. Someday, there will be an old timers committee which give more weight to issues such as esteem in the eyes of fans and peers and place in baseball history.

I still find it hard to believe people say Blyleven's career stats doesn't justify his being in the HOF. Pointing out to only two All Star Game appearances (a matter of ignorance compunded by stupidity) and not winning the CYA (neither did Ryan) is a poor scale to use.

Consider this. Take away K's of pitchers and Blyleven moves ahead of Carlton (remember, Blyleven spent 70% of his career having to face the DH while Carlton spent nearly his entire career in the NL). Also, Blyleven's ERA+ is ahead of Carlton and Ryan. ERA+ is more accurate than just straight ERA.

Look at the 1974 season and try to justify Blyleven not finishing at least 2nd in the CYA voting, let alone having deserved to actually win it. In 1985, Blyleven received the most points in the CYA voting of any starter but lost out to a reliever (back then, voters had a "love affair" with relievers). Ryan never once won the CYA and never once led all starters in points received.

Blyleven had 15 complete game 1-0 wins. Only Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson had more such complete game wins.

Someone will point out about the number of HR's Blyleven gave up. However, Niekro gave up more and also gave up more per inning pitched. Sutton and Hunter also gave up more HR's per inning pitched. Yet, those three are in the HOF.

I took a look at the career's of Carlton and Blyleven and found that Blyleven was overall a top 5 pitcher 8 times compared to Carlton's 5 times. Blyleven was a top 10 pitcher an additional 3 times, just like Carlton. Sounds like Blyleven was more dmominant more often than Carlton.

Now let's take a look at the careers of Blyleven and seven of his contemporaries who have previously been elected to the HOF: Catfish Hunter, Don Sutton, Jim Palmer, Nolan Ryan, Phil Niekro, Steve Carlton and Tom Seaver.

Career Shutouts - Only Seaver and Ryan had more and then only by one more.

Strikeouts - Only Carlton and Ryan had more but Carlton inflated his numbers by getting to K a ton of pitchers.

ERA+ - Only Seaver and Palmer have a higher ERA+

WHIP - Only Seaver and Sutton finished in the top 10 and top 5 more often.

BB/9 - Only Sutton finished in the top 10 and top 5 more often.

K/9 - Only Carlton and Ryan finished in the top 10 and top 5 more often.

K/BB - None of the other seven finished in the top 10 or top 5 more often than Blyleven.

ERA+ - Only Seaver finished in the top 10 more often and only Seaver and Palmer finished in the top 5 more often.

It's as clear as possible that Blyleven was underestimated, underappreciated and underrated. It's also clear to see that Blyleven was a better pitcher not only in his career but year in and year out than all but two of his contemporaries. Blyleven clearly deserved to be in long ago. The only bigger snub is Buck O'Neill not being in.

Congratulations to Bert Blyleven for his election to the Hall based on his great career as well as to Rich Lederer for helping it to bring it people's attention. Well done!


Fine...but must he drag Jim Kaat along too?

Other than that...CONGRATS, RICH!

Oh go piss in the wind Dr. Renny.

I thought this day would never come! Congrats to all involved.

Yeay! Congrats to Bert and Rich.

Thanks everyone. You're the best.