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Bert Blyleven, Former Pirate, Inducted Into Baseball Hall Of Fame

Former Pirates starting pitcher Bert Blyleven was inducted into the Baseball Hall Of Fame on Sunday, along with Roberto Alomar and front-office executive Pat Gillick.

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Blyleven was fifth on the career list for strikeouts, with 3,701, and he won 287 career games. 34 of those were with the Pirates, for whom he played from 1978 to 1980. The Pirates won both games in which he pitched in the 1979 World Series, and he was the winning pitcher in Game 5. His curveball was a thing of beauty, one of the best of all time.

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Blyleven's Hall Of Fame chances were a cause celebre for sabermetrically-inclined writers, who were annoyed as one of the best pitchers of his era was routinely passed over in favor of lesser lights like Bruce Sutter. Blyleven received the approval of less than 20 percent of voters in his first three years on the ballot, and ended up needing 14 chances to get in. Eventually, though, rationality finally won out.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.