Minnesota Twins: Top 5 All-Star seasons in a Twins uniform
No. 3 Bert Blyleven-1973
While the previously mentioned Johan Santana is probably the most successful pitcher of recent memory, we sometimes forget just how good Bert Blyleven was during his playing days. He is certainly now best known for his work as the color commentator for Twins television broadcasts which he at best gets mixed reviews at best for his work there. We are here today to give credit where it is due with how well he performed on the mound for the Twins.
1973 was a different era of baseball than today, but it still gives us a glimpse into just how good Blyleven was through his career as a starting pitcher. On his way to his first All-Star appearance, Blyleven started 24 games while going 12-9. In those starts, he held a 2.59 ERA and 151 strikeouts on his way to 14 complete games. Seven of those complete games were shutouts.
Unfortunately for Blyleven, the actual All-Star game was not good for him as he allowed two runs leading to him being credited with the loss in the eventual National League victory. If there was a positive to Blyleven’s line it was that he didn’t get absolutely crushed, just consistently nibbled away at. And with the final blow coming at the bat of Hank Aaron, that is understandable.
Blyleven finished his first All-Star season with a 2.53 ERA over 325.0 innings pitched. And while the era was different then, Blyleven did still finish with a 156 ERA+ proving his performance was good no matter the years in which it came. He did get some recognition at the end of the season as he finished seventh in Cy Young voting and 26th in Most Valuable Player Voting.