Ex-Indians Alomar, Blyleven Get Elected

Ex-Indians Alomar, Blyleven Get Elected

Former Indians Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven are the newest members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Alomar, a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove second baseman, and Blyleven, a 287-game winning right-hander who is fifth on the all-time strikeout list, were elected by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Both played for Cleveland in the middle of their illustrious careers.

They will be inducted into the Hall on July 24 in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with executive Pat Gillick, who was elected last month by the Expansion Era Committee. Also to be honored will be Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for baseball writing and longtime Montreal Expos and voice Dave Van Horne with the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting.

A record 581 ballots, including five blanks, were cast by BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years' service. Players must be named on 75 percent of ballots submitted to be elected. This year, 436 votes were required. The previous record total of ballots submitted in a BBWAA election was 545 in 2007 when Cal Ripken Jr. was elected with 537 votes and Tony Gwynn with 532, the two top individual vote totals.

This is the fifth time that multiple ex-Indians will be enshrined in the same year. Tris Speaker, Napoleon Lajoie were inducted in 1937; Elmer Flick and Sam Rice in 1963; Ralph Kiner and Earl Averill in 1975; and Joe Sewell and Al Lopez in 1977.

Alomar, in his second year on the ballot, received 523 votes, the third highest total in history, for a 90% plurality. He was the 26th player to reach the 90% level in BBWAA elections. Blyleven, in his 14th and next-to-last year of eligibility, was named on 463 ballots for 79.7%. Their election brings to 295 the number of elected Hall members. Of that total, 205 are former major-league players, of which 111 have been through the BBWAA ballot. Alomar is the 20th second baseman (18th former major leaguer) and Blyleven the 72nd pitcher (64th former major leaguer) elected.

Alomar batted .300 with a .371 on-base average and a .443 slugging percentage over a 17-season career with the San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Indians, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks.

The switch hitter totaled 2,724 hits, 1,508 runs, 504 doubles, 80 triples, 210 home runs, 1,134 runs batted in and 474 stolen bases.

Alomar, whose father and brother, both named Sandy, played in the majors, was on Toronto's World Series champions of 1992 and '93, was the Most Valuable Player of the 1992 American League Championship Series and MVP of the 1998 All-Star Game.

Blyleven pitched in 22 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Indians and California Angels and compiled a 287-250 record with a 3.31 ERA, 242 complete games, 60 shutouts and 3,701 strikeouts in 4,969 1/3 innings.

He pitched a no-hitter on Sept. 22, 1977 for the Rangers against the Angels and shares the AL single-game record for the longest one-hit complete game of 10 innings June 21, 1976. He, too, was a key part of two World Series champions, the 1979 Pirates and the 1987 Twins.

The only other players to gain more than 50% of the vote were shortstop Barry Larkin with 361 votes (62.1%) and pitcher Jack Morris with 311 (53.5%).

Players may remain on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive five percent of the vote in any year. There were 17 candidates who failed to make the cut this year, including 15 of the 19 players who were on the ballot for the first time. First-year candidates who received sufficient support to remain were Jeff Bagwell with 242 (41.7%), Larry Walker with 118 (20.3%), Rafael Palmeiro with 64 (11%) and Juan Gonzalez with 30 (5.2%). Other holdovers that will remain on the ballot are first basemen Mark McGwire, Fred McGriff and Don Mattingly; outfielders Tim Raines and Dale Murphy; designated hitter-third baseman Edgar Martinez; shortstop Alan Trammell and relief pitcher Lee Smith .

In his 15th and final year on the ballot, former outfielder Dave Parker received 89 votes (15.3%).

Former Indians second baseman Carlos Baerga was among those first-time players on the ballot to receive no votes. Early in his career, Baerga looked like he could be a future candidate, but his play dropped substantially after helping Cleveland to the 1995 World Series.
The vote:
Roberto Alomar 523 (90.0%)
Bert Blyleven 463 (79.7%)
Barry Larkin 361 (62.1%)
Jack Morris 311 (53.5%)
Lee Smith 263 (45.3%)
Jeff Bagwell 242 (41.7%)
Tim Raines 218 (37.5%)
Edgar Martinez 191 (32.9%)
Alan Trammell 141 (24.3%)
Larry Walker 118 (20.3%)
Mark McGwire 115 (19.8%)
Fred McGriff 104 (17.9%)
Dave Parker 89 (15.3%)
Don Mattingly 79 (13.6%)
Dale Murphy 73 (12.6%)
Rafael Palmeiro 64 (11.0%)
Juan Gonzalez 30 (5.2%)
Harold Baines 28 (4.8%)
John Franco 27 (4.6%)
Kevin Brown 12 (2.1%)
Tino Martinez 6 (1.0%)
Marquis Grissom 4 (0.7%)
Al Leiter 4 (0.7%)
John Olerud 4 (0.7%)
B.J. Surhoff 2 (0.3%)
Bret Boone 1 (0.2%)
Benito Santiago 1 (0.2%)
Carlos Baerga 0
Lenny Harris 0
Bobby Higginson 0
Charles Johnson 0
Raul Mondesi 0
Kirk Reuter 0

There are now 33 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame who played or managed for Cleveland. They are listed here, with the year they were enshrined:
* Walter Johnson, RHP, 1936
Napoleon Lajoie, 2B, 1937
Tris Speaker, OF, 1937
Cy Young, RHP, 1937
* Hank Greenberg, 1B-OF, 1956
Bob Feller, RHP, 1962
Elmer Flick, OF, 1963
Sam Rice, OF, 1963
Stan Coveleski, RHP, 1969
Lou Boudreau, SS-MGR, 1970
Satchel Paige, RHP, 1971
Early Wynn, RHP, 1972
* Billy Evans, GM, 1973
Earl Averill, OF, 1975
Ralph Kiner, OF, 1975
Bob Lemon, RHP, 1976
Al Lopez, C-MGR, 1977
Joe Sewell, SS, 1977
Addie Joss, RHP, 1978
Frank Robinson, OF-MGR, 1982
Hoyt Wilhelm, RHP, 1985
Gaylord Perry, RHP, 1991
* Bill Veeck, GM, 1991
Hal Newhouser, LHP, 1992
Steve Carlton, LHP, 1994
Phil Niekro, RHP, 1997
Larry Doby, OF, 1998
Dave Winfield, OF, 2001
Eddie Murray, 1B, 2003
Dennis Eckersley, RHP, 2004
Joe Gordon, 2B, 2009
Roberto Alomar, 2B, 2011
Bert Blyleven, RHP, 2011

* Evans, Veeck and Greenberg were all Indians general managers. Evans also was an umpire; Veeck owned the Indians, Browns and Chicago White Sox at various times; and Greenberg was a great player for the . Johnson was enshrined as a great pitcher for . He managed the Indians in 1933-35, but never played for Cleveland.

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