Sunday, December 30, 2007

Former Twins via for Baseball Hall of Fame

Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, and Rod Carew are the former Minnesota Twins who are in the Baseball Hall of Fame (HOF). HOF members Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield, and Steve Carlton also played for short periods with the Twins. Now as every year at this time the Baseball Writers of America (BWA) are voting on candidates for the HOF.

There are no clear cut choices for the HOF this year, and two players with connection to the Twins are under consideration. Bert Blyleven spent about 10 years pitching with the Twins; helping them to a World Series victory in 1987. His 287 wins and 3701 strikeouts are among the all-time leaders in those categories.

Jack Morris (see left image) spent 14 years pitching in Detroit. In 1991 he returned to his native Minnesota to pitch for the Twins leading them to a World Series win in 1991. His 10 inning shutout win in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series is greatest one of the greatest World Series pitching performance ever. Morris won more games than any other pitcher in the 1980’s, and was the ace pitcher on three different World Series winning teams.

Despite their successes neither player has come close to making the HOF. Basically BWA voters say Blyleven was never a dominate pitcher during his career and his win – loss record is too close to .500. Morris meanwhile has a career ERA of 3.90 which would be the highest of any pitcher in the HOF. Both men were also not the most accommodating with the baseball writers, who now decide their fate, back when they played.

I watched both Blyleven and Morris pitch for years for and against the Twins. Morris definitely belongs in the HOF. He was the best pitcher of his era, and never seem to fail in a big game. Blyleven I go back and forth on. He definitely was a great pitcher, but I don’t know something just nags at me about his career. I think neither will be voted into the HOF by the BWA. Morris will likely get in via the veterans committee. It is sad that Jack Morris will have to wait so long for a honor he was clearly earned.