Two non-US born players elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame
NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — Major League Baseball (MLB) on Wednesday announced that two non-U.S. born players were elected to be inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2011.
Roberto Alomar Jr., born in Puerto Rico, and Bert Blyleven, a Dutch national, were elected to be the latest members of the select group. Alomar was named on 90 percent of the ballots, the third-highest vote total in history. Blyleven was named on 79.7 percent of the ballots, receiving 463 votes.
A candidate must receive at least 75 percent of the vote to gain election. During Thursday’s news conference, Alomar said that when he received the call it was the best moment in his life. Last year, Alomar admitted being HIV positive.
“It was a long year, a very long year,” Alomar said. “But it’s worth it. I’m real happy today. I don’t look back.”
Last year, both players were nearly elected as Blyleven missed election by five votes and Alomar missed by eight. Former outfielder Andre Dawson was the only player elected by eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
“I’ll just say the last name is Blyleven and it’s 2011. It’s been frustrating over the years. I can tell you that the last week my wife and I have been pretty nervous,” said Blyleven, the current broadcaster for the Minnesota Twins.
Blyleven referred to the fact that he has been on the ballots for long and never elected until now. The two players will be joined by general manager Pat Gillick at the induction ceremony n Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 24.
Gillick was elected by a post-expansion Veterans Committee last month for building World Series champions in Toronto (1992-93) and Philadelphia (2008). Gillick was responsible for acquiring Alomar and Joe Carter for the Blue Jays in the 1990 trade that sent Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez to San Diego.
Alomar played his best seasons as a Blue Jays member in which he won tow World Series during a five-season tenure. Alomar, whose brother Sandy was a MLB catcher, is a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove-winning second baseman.
After the announcement, Alomar expressed his gratitude as well as his desire to go into the Hall as a member of the Blue Jays. He will be the first player in history to go in wearing a Blue Jays uniform.
Blyleven was a right-handed pitcher with a record of 287-250. He was in his fourteenth of 15 years on the ballot. The Dutch born and California-raised Blyleven had two stints with the Twins totaling 10 of his 22 seasons.
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