Bert Blyleven: master of the curveball

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 25, 2011 - 11:02 AM

Many say Bert Blyleven had the best curveball of his time, and one of the best ever. A legendary voice on the radio taught the future TV personality how to "drop it off the table."

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randy_eJul. 22, 11 8:19 AM

I am 52 and am not a lala land homer, so I am unbiased in my comments, so I just want to say that he had the nastiest curve ball that I have ever saw, I can not say it was the best ever, but it is the best that I ever saw.

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bruisedupJul. 22, 11 9:31 AM

The careers of Sandy Koufax and Bert Blyleven appear to be nothing alike except that they both had excellent curve balls. One big difference was that Koufax pitched for just one team, the Dodgers. Koufax only had 165 wins but he was able to get into the Hall only six years after he retired for the same reasons that Bert had to wait so long. Koufax practically owned the National League from '61 to '66. In that span he won 3 Cy Youngs and he owned three triple crowns (wins, strikeouts, and ERA) which he got in '63, '65, and '66. Those years got Koufax a lot more recognition than Blyleven got pitching on several poor teams and looking more like a journeyman pitcher. Bert was good in the postseason. If he could have pitched on one good team his entire career he would have gotten into the Hall right away.

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viking53Jul. 22, 1111:09 AM

The thing that I remember about Bert's curve ball was the fact that he would stick his tongue out when he threw it. Everybody knew the curve was coming, but they still couldn't hit it.

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peppertomJul. 22, 1111:32 AM

i remember bert for his homerun balls, there were lots.

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elway36Jul. 22, 1112:01 PM

That curve is nasty!

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unlv1980Jul. 22, 11 2:53 PM

An excellent pitcher and a good human being. There are not enough role models for the youth in these times. I don'tknow what he was paid to play baseball and I don't care. He has conducted himself as a gentleman on and off the field. The character of the athlete is important and not just their stats.

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chucktellJul. 22, 11 3:03 PM

hail, bert. hail, camilo...now living on miami.

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epcitizenJul. 22, 11 3:56 PM

Sorry folks but BB was merely a "journeyman" pitcher. Godd, BUT nowhere near GREAT. Isn't GReat reserved for the Hall of Fame. Lucky for him that there was no one on last years ballot worthy of induction. Well, at least we won't have to put up with him campaigning for himself anymore

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henrikJul. 22, 11 3:57 PM

I remember hitters looking foolish swings about 2 feet over the top of his curve ball and then about 2 seconds late on a fastball. Had Bert been on a competitive team more often he would have had around 325-350 wins.

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ladykasJul. 22, 11 5:49 PM

He may have appeared to be a journeyman because of all the poor teams he pitched for. He would have won well over 300 games if he had pitched for better teams and he still finished 5th in strike outs. Journeyman pitcher??? I hardly think so...

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