Another year, another Hall of Fame snub for Bert Blyleven. The Baseball Writers' Association of America had their votes tallied yesterday, and only Goose Gossage had his name on the necessary percentage of ballots (85.3 percent) to surpass the 75 percent threshold and achieve entry to the Hall of Fame. Blyleven failed to get elected for an eleventh straight year, although he did find his name on 61.9 percent of ballots, which is a considerable increase from last year's 47 percent.
Joe Christensen called the boost in percentage for Blyleven "a big jump," adding that the increase is a good sign that Blyleven will reach the Hall eventually, a notion which was very much in doubt after he saw his support drop six percentage points last year from the year before. Perhaps this year's results should be viewed as an encouraging sign, but it still frustrates me each time I see the voters fail to give Blyleven his proper due.
Obviously, I'm a major believer that Blyleven belongs in the Hall of Fame. I won't go into a lengthy tirade about all the reasons I feel this way (you can already find material like that in numerous other places, including here, here and here); suffice to say that nearly every anti-Blyleven argument centers in some way around his win-loss record, which was heavily influenced by the unfortunately mediocre teams he tended to play for. This is the same type of flawed thinking that prevented Johan Santana from winning the Cy Young in 2005, and it's a systematic issue in the BBWAA that drives me batty.
Other former Twins to receive votes were Jack Morris (42.9 percent) and first-timer Chuck Knoblauch (>1 percent). I'm not by any means a believer that Morris belongs in the Hall, and the fact that Knoblauch received even one vote is somewhat laughable. Still, another snub for Blyleven has me peeved. Here's hoping that his luck changes within the next couple years.