Bert Blyleven: Hall of Famer or not?

Auto Update: Off
SportsNation
Welcome to The Show! On Wednesday, ESPN.com Page 2's Jim Caple will drop by at 1 p.m. ET for another installment of "That's Debatable," a feature in which we break down a hot topic. This week, we're examining some of the candidates on the MLB Hall of Fame ballot.

Wednesday's question: Is Bert Blyleven a Hall of Famer or not?

THE CASE FOR BLYLEVEN


He won 287 games -- only one other non-eligible pitcher (Tommy John) won that many and is not in Cooperstown. He threw 60 shutouts (ninth all-time and just one fewer than Roger Clemens and Pedro Martinez combined) and 242 complete games (twice as many as Clemens). He struck out 3,701 batters, fifth all-time. He threw a curveball that is still used as the standard for comparison. He finished in the top five in ERA six times. He threw a no-hitter and helped two teams to world championships.

THE CASE AGAINST BLYLEVEN


He received Cy Young votes in only four years and never finished higher than third. He made the All-Star team only twice. He only once won 20 games despite pitching in an era when that was still the benchmark. He lost 250 games.

THE VERDICT


For a number of years I didn't vote for Blyleven. He isn't a slam dunk candidate but the Hall of Fame isn't reserved only for 300-win, multiple Cy Young slam dunks. There is room for pitchers other than Tom Seaver. Blyleven was a very good pitcher for a very long time and I always second-guessed myself for not voting for him. I now vote for him and feel very confident with that vote. He belongs in the Hall.


In That's Debatable!, we give you the topic, and then we'll have one of our writers stopping by to debate the issue with you. To suggest a topic for "That's Debatable," go here. Or check out the full archive.

Caple Archive: Chats | Columns

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.