This afternoon, former Phillies general manager Pat Gillick will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Along with The Inquirer’s Tim Rohan, I’m here in Cooperstown. You can follow us both on Twitter @matt_breen and @timrohan.
Gillick becomes the first Phillies executive to enter the hall, as he was punched his ticket thanks to the Veterans Committee’s Expansion Era ballot that was conducted in December. Joining Gillick in the Class of 2011 is Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven.
Pat Gillick – Pitched for five seasons in Orioles’ minor league system before becoming a scout. In 1977, Gillick was named assistant general manager for the expansion Toronto Blue Jays and was promoted to general manager the following year. In Toronto, Gillick won five division titles and two World Series titles, including downing the Phillies in 1993. He then moved onto Baltimore and Seattle, reaching the ALCS with both clubs before landing in Philadelphia in 2006. In his second season, Gillick’s Phillies team captured their first division title since 1993. A year later, they won their first World Title in 28 years and Gillick retired. The 73-year old remains with the Phillies as a senior adviser.
Roberto Alomar – Finishing with a career average at exactly .300 and ten seasons with over twenty stolen bases, the Puerto Rican native will be inducted in his second year of eligibility. In 17 seasons, Alomar won two World Series titles, both with Gillick’s Toronto Blue Jays. One of the finest second baseman of his time, Alomar tallied ten gold glove titles and formed a deadly double-play combination with shortstop Omar Vizquel during his three years in Cleveland. After hitting a career high .336 with the Indians in 2001, Alomar was acquired by the New York Mets where he struggled before retiring in 2004 as a Chicago White Sox.
Bert Blyleven — A true throwback, workhorse-type of pitcher, Bert Blyleven retired in 1992, just 13 wins shy of that magical 300-win mark. His career skyrocketed after the 1972 season with the Minnesota Twins in which he posted a 20-17 record, with a 2.52 ERA and 25 complete games, including nine shutouts. That would be the one constant with Blyleven over his 22-year career spent mostly with the Twins: he usually finished what he started. Thirty-five percent of every single game Blyleven pitched in, ended in a complete game. And his 60 career shutouts are good enough for ninth in baseball history. Don’t overlook his 3.31 career ERA, though, or his consistency — only once did he not start at least 20 games in a season.