But there are many voters who refuse to vote for him using the "you had to be there" argument. Meaning that they don't believe that Blyleven was ever dominant enough in his time to be rewarded with inclusion to the Hall. Many of those same voters, however, will vote for Jack Morris. A fine pitcher with less illustrious career stats than Blyleven. But boy oh boy...he was a big game pitcher. He single-handedly won Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, right? I guess "you had to be there". Ahem.
And you know what? I'm fine with that. I happen to believe Blyleven deserves the honor of induction. Certain voters do not. Whatever. As long as they have a good argument. And Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated wrote an entire article on why he was not voting for Blyleven, even in the face of some newer statistical work that suggests that Blyleven may be one of the all-time greats. Bravo, Mr. Heyman. He even made some good points. Not a lot of points that I agree with, and they all boil down to the "you had to be there" argument. But at least he tried.
Then he goes and ruins it on the second page by including his own criteria for voting in Jack Morris, which is as follows:
That's very nice. Except if you use the same criteria for Blyleven, you would have the following:
So it seems his real argument against Blyleven is that he never led the league in wins in any particular year. Because the rest of the numbers he himself uses are at least the equal of Morris' numbers, and in some cases much better.
By the way, one of the years in which Morris led his league in wins was the strike-shortened 1981 season. He finished with 14 wins that year, tying three other AL pitchers. The other year was 1992 when he led the AL with 21 wins (tied with Kevin Brown), but also posted a 4.04 ERA. Which was around league average that year.
But to truly see his greatness? Well...I guess "you had to be there".
PS - If you want to read a much more intelligent argument for Bert Blyleven (and some other fine players), well...there's always Poz. I, personally, probably wouldn't vote for Barry Larkin, Mark McGwire or Alan Trammell like Poz did. But I don't really have a problem with anyone voting for them either. Well...maybe McGwire a little bit. Gonna have to figure this whole "steroid era" out one of these years, eh?