I swear to all that is, well, everything, that if Bert Blyleven does not get into the Hall of Fame in 2008, I will go on a rampage.
Here's a sample of Bert's career numbers: 287-250 (yes, that's a lot of losses but he played on a total of TWO playoff teams in his career), 3.31 ERA, 1.198 WHIP, 3701 strikeouts (5th all time). I don't put much, if any, stock in wins when evaluating a pitcher but when a dude racks up 287 wins while playing for TWO playoff teams, it's something of which to take notice. A guy with a 3.31 ERA should not lose 250 games in his career. If that number shows anything, it shows that he got pretty bad run support.
Bert was top five in strikeouts 13 times out of 22 seasons pitched (top ten 15 times, top ten in K/9 14 times), top 5 in ERA 7 times (top 10 10 times), top five in WHIP 7 times (top 10 11 times), and top five in innings pitched 6 times (top ten 11 times, 13th all time in innings pitched). As an added bonus, he's 9th all time on the career shutout list.
Numbers wise, Bert is a shoe-in. I do not understand why he is not in the Hall. The only thing I can think of is that he must've rubbed the media the wrong way at one point.
Obviously at 20 I'm too young to have rememberd seeing Blyleven pitch as he retired when I was five years old. However, with numbers like that, it must have been something speical.