Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson says BWAA voters got it right

January 06, 2011 | Ryan Chell

Thursday afternoon brought the news that Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were voted into Cooperstown and Baseball’s Hall of Fame, and the president of that exclusive club not only spent his Thursday and Friday welcoming the two into his museum Thursday but also joined Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark on Thursday to share his thoughts regarding his two newest members.

Jeff Idelson

“For both guys, it’s a great day and a very deserving honor,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said. “No real surprise at all because the voting trends have shown that guys who get over that 705 mark almost always are selected the next year.”

Alomar in his second year of eligibilty received 90% of the votes and Blyleven received 79.7% of the vote. Alomar will be the third Puerto Rican inducted into Cooperstown while Blyleven will be the first ever Dutch player to be enshrined in the Hall.

Alomar, who played from 1988-2004 with eight different clubs including the Orioles from 1996-1998, was a 12-time All-Star selection at second base, achieving the mark in every year from 1990-2001.

He won ten Glove Awards-a record for second baseman and was a four-time Silver Slugger Award Winner at second base.

He owns a career .300 batting average(achieving the mark in nine seasons) with 2,724 career base hits and 210 home runs. He had six seasons where he scored 100 runs or more, and had two seasons with 100+ RBI under his belt.

And the resume continues to build, as he was also known as quite the base stealer, having a season where he stole at least 30 bases eight different times.

Blyleven meanwhile spent 22 years in the majors from 1970-1992, where he compiled a 287-250 record, was a two-time All-Star and a two-time World Series Champion with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979(defeating the Baltimore Orioles in seven games) and 1987 with the Minnesota Twins.

Idelson said that in both cases-but mostly with Alomar-it helped the fact that these two guys played for so many teams in the major leagues that they were able to garner attention from all areas that the National Baseball Writers came from.

“For Robbie Alomar to earn election to the Hall of Fame, he couldn’t have done it without all the stops he made, so for all the fans in all the cities he played in, Alomar is a Hall of Famer for them as well. And when we announced his cap selection this morning, regardless of what team it was, every team should lay claim to him as their Hall of Famer, because he could not have made it to Cooperstown without a stop in that city.”

And all in all, while the best of baseball reside their in Cooperstown and inducting these two guys is certainly not a hard question to answer, it was difficult for Ideson to describe what exactly his building represents to the overall history of baseball.

“The title of our building is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum,” Idelson said. “And if you walk into any history museum, you would see the history of whatever the museum was representing, and in the case of us, it’s baseball’s relationship with American culture.”

“It’s about the players, it’s about the social issues, it’s about the entirety of the game and how it’s played on the field and how it’s represented in America.”

Continue to follow WNST and WNST as we congratulate former Oriole Roberto Alomar as he is enshrined into Cooperstown! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!

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