Sunday, January 30, 2011
Twins to Retire Blyleven's Number 28
According to Christopher Gates of SB Nation, the Twins will retire Bert Blyleven's number 28 on July 16th. This is really great news, but what took them so long?
To date, the Twins have retired the numbers of five players: Harmon Killebrew, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett, Tony Oliva, and Rod Carew. Based on my research, the Twins do not have a stringent criteria to retire numbers (a la the Boston Red Sox). They require players to have neither finished their careers with the team (as evidenced by Rod Carew's inclusion), nor been elected to the Hall of Fame (as evidenced by the inclusion of Kent Hrbek and Tony Oliva). This just another classic example of how criminally undervalued and underappreciated Blyleven was throughout his career. Now that he's been elected to the Hall of Fame, everyone is trying to get a piece of the action. I guess it's better late than never, but it's unfortunate it took everyone so long to realize his greatness.
Blyleven played with the Twins from 1970-1976, and then again from 1984-1988. During his eleven seasons with the Twins, Blyleven had been one of the organization's all-time great pitchers going 149-138 with a 3.28 ERA, 3.02 K/BB, and 45.7 rWAR.