Thursday, August 1, 2013

#48 Bert Blyleven

About the Front: Circle me, Bert! The final card of the star pitcher's career looks quite different from his 1971 Topps rookie card, which depicted Blyleven as a fresh-faced teenager.

About the Back: As you may have surmised, Bert is the only member of the Hall of Fame who was born in the Netherlands. He has 287 of the 298 major league wins (post-1900) by native Dutchmen, with Rick van den Hurk (eight wins) and Win Remmerswaal (three W's) covering the rest.

Triple Play:

1. Blyleven spent the bulk of his career pitching on losing teams, which kept him from reaching 300 wins and almost certainly delayed his induction in Cooperstown. However, he did well in his few trips to the postseason, winning five of his six decisions with a 2.47 ERA. This includes a complete-game, 7-1 victory over the Reds in the 1979 NLCS clincher and four innings of scoreless relief in the Pirates' Game 5 World Series triumph against the Orioles.

2. Bert has a substantial presence in baseball's record book, ranking fifth all-time in strikeouts (3,701) and ninth in shutouts (60). He also no-hit the Angels while pitching for the Rangers on September 22, 1977.

3. In case you hadn't heard, Bert loves to fart.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Sadly, I didn't know about that shirt in the previous link when I first laid my hands on Blyleven's card. If I had, I surely would have cherished the card like few others in my collection.

Bill James Said: Nada. Bert retired prior to the 1993 season.

On This Date in 1993: August 1. Here's one my fellow Orioles fans will appreciate. Well, maybe "appreciate" is not the right word. The Orioles lose to the Red Sox, 2-1, with Danny Darwin getting the duke over Rick Sutcliffe. During the game, O's rookie Jeffrey Hammonds lines a foul ball into his own dugout and knocks Glenn Davis unconscious. Davis was already recuperating from a broken jaw. He does not sustain any further injuries.


  1. I wish I had known about that shirt as well, that is pretty freaking awesome. One of the first cards I remember pulling was Blyleven's '91 Fleer card, and I remember thinking that there's no way he could actually be any good with a name like that. Still one of my favorites of his, but mostly because '91 Fleer is an awesome set.

  2. Do you have his 1975 Topps? That's a good one.