Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, and Pat Gillick take their rightful place in Cooperstown today. Although the spitting incident cost him entry on the first ballot, Alomar’s overall body of work could not be ignored. Living in San Diego at the time, I was fortunate enough to see Alomar break into the big leagues with the Padres. Alomar was perhaps the best second baseman of his era, appearing in 12 straight All-Star games and winning 10 Gold Glove Awards.
Blyleven finally gets the call after a long wait. The Nederlander’s Hall of Fame career featured 287 wins and 3701 strikeouts. Blyleven had a knee-buckling curveball that mystified hitters for 22 seasons.
Gillick, who enters the Hall as an executive, started his career with the Houston organization in 1964 as Assistant Farm Director. Gillick then served as a scout for the Astros and was the organization’ Director of Scouting in 1974. Gillick became the Assistant General Manager for the expansion Toronto Blue Jays in 1977. Promoted to General manager in 1978, Gillick built the fledgling Jays into back-to-back World Series Champs and an attendance record setting machine. Gillick went on to continued success in Baltimore and Seattle before retiring after winning the World Series with a Phillies team that was partially constructed by current Astros G.M. Ed Wade.
The Astros have yet to send a player to Cooperstown. Nolan Ryan was enshrined as a Ranger. Jeff Bagwell was named on 41% of the necessary 75% of the ballots this year in his first year of eligibility. Craig Biggio will be among an interesting list of players who become eligible in 2013. Joe Posnanski breaks down the possibilities for the class of 2013 in his thought provoking article at SI.com. Personally, I think Bagwell will get in due to the fact that he was a complete player and one of the best of his era. To me Biggio is a first ballot inductee. It would be fitting if both entered the Hall simultaneously.