Rounding the Bases: Jan 5th, 2011.
Today Bert Blyleven was FINALLY voted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The fact that it took 14 years for one of the true masters of the curve ball to get in is criminal. But hey, at least he got in right? Blyleven finished his career with 287 wins and I assume some of the more old school thinking Baseball writers with HOF votes hold the fact that he fell 13 votes short of 300 against him. This is ridiculous as he played on MANY bad teams. Totally unrelated to his playing career, he is one of the best color commentators in Baseball. He has been in the broadcast booth for the Twins since 1996 and while I am not a huge Twins fan, sometimes I just tune into their games because you never know what ole’ Bert is gonna say. Congratulations to one of the greatest pitchers of his generation and probably the biggest prankster. I am going to go out on a not so far out limb and saying he is going in with a Twins hat on.
In addition to Blyleven, Roberto Alomar also got voted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame today. While this is a great honor and I am happy that Robby got in, this is something that EVERYONE knew was going to happen unlike Blyleven’s case for the HOF which was filled with uncertainty after 19 years. In any case, it is pretty obvious Alomar did not get in last year and was punished for the John Hirschbeck spitting incident. Hell, I would have punished him also if I had a vote. I could write a ton on the awesome numbers that Alomar put up during his career but that would be boring and everyone already knows how great he was. Just know that he was the best Second Basemen that I have ever seen in my life and it still pains me to know that the Padres traded him to Toronto in 1991. My guess is that he goes in with a Blue Jay hat on.
Bill Buckner is BACK. Yesterday it was announced that the Brockton Rox of the Can-Am League has signed Buckner to a contract to manage the Massachusetts based team. The last time Buckner worked in professional Baseball was 1996 & 1997 when he was the hitting coach for the Chicago White Sox. I really feel this is tragic as Buckner had an AWESOME career and people only remember him for 1 play which in some ways defined his 22 season career in the Major Leagues. What many people don’t remember is that Buckner could hit a Baseball. He finished his career with a .289/.321/.408 line, was an All-Star in 1981 and had 2715 career hits which is incredibly impressive. In addition, the dude was an incredibly smart base runner and had 183 career stolen bases. The last number I will shoot out (which I stole from his wiki) is that he was a good defender at First Base and only had 128 errors in 13,901 chances…too bad one of those was in game 6 of the 1986 World Series. By the way I refuse to show a photo of Buckner in a Bosox uniform on this blog, he needs to be remembered for something else, screw you John McNamara.
It was announced on Saturday that Baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew is battling esophageal cancer. The former Washington Twin/Senator and Kansas City Royal (KC in 1975? Really, I had no idea) has always been one of my favorite players from yesteryear as he always comes off so classy in his interviews. While Killebrew had an incredible playing career, I feel sometimes he still goes under the radar based on the teams he played for. Just imagine if spent his career crushing home runs for a team like the Yankees, kids of present day would know his name just as as well as they know Mickey Mantle’s. Something to take into mind when looking at Killebrew’s career is the fact that he hit more home runs than any other player in Baseball in the 1960′s. Here’s to you Harmon, get well.
A few weeks old but I hadn’t really found a reason to use it in the site until now: Adrian Gonzalez’s full page letter that he took out in the San Diego Union Tribune addressing the fans of the San Diego Padres after being traded and becoming a member of the Boston Red Sox.
My wife Betsy and I have been fortunate to call the San Diego area home – both during childhood and the past five seasons with the Padres. While my baseball career continues on the ‘other’ coast, family, friends, and Padres fans will remain close to our hearts. It was a dream come true to play for the hometown team for five wonderful years. It was a privilege to put on a uniform bearing ‘San Diego,’ and to live and work amidst so many wonderful people. This is truly an amazing city.
“Betsy and I will miss seeing so many of you on a regular basis. You always raised our spirits and have a profoundly positive impact on our lives. For this and so much more, we are grateful.
“For now, I will refrain from saying goodbye; the Adrian & Betsy Gonzalez Foundation will continue to honor its commitment to helping area youth and we have every intention of doing our part to better this already great community.
“Many thanks and God bless.”
Excuse me while I go get a tissue, I think I have something in my eyes. Ugh.