The National Pastime took on a decidedly international flavor in the heart of America on July 24, 2011 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. But for Class of 2011 members Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick – and the estimated 17,500 fans in Cooperstown on Sunday – the language of baseball needed no translator. Fifty Hall of Famers graced the stage in Cooperstown on Sunday during the annual Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony as Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick were inducted as the Class of 2011 in front of a cheering crowd and a nation of supporters watching from home live on MLB Network, and around the world through international affiliates.
ROBERTO ALOMAR: Roberto Alomar was elected to the Hall of Fame on Jan. 5 in his second try on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot...Alomar was named on 523 of a record 581 BBWAA ballots (90.0 percent), earning the third-highest number of votes in any BBWAA election...Alomar is just the 26th player to earn at least 90 percent of the vote and the first non-first year electee to clear the 90-percent barrier...Alomar, one of the premier second basemen of his or any era, finished his 17-year big league career with a .300 average, 2,724 hits, 1,508 runs scored, 1,134 RBI and 474 stolen bases...Alomar was named to 12 All-Star teams, won 10 Gold Glove Awards at second base and was named the 1992 American League Championship Series MVP with the Blue Jays...He helped Toronto win back-to-back World Series titles in 1992-93 and was named the MVP of the 1998 All-Star Game.
BERT BLYLEVEN: Bert Blyleven was elected to the Hall of Fame on Jan. 5 in his 14th try on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot...Blyleven was named on 463 of a record 581 BBWAA ballots (79.7 percent), earning election by 27 votes after falling just five votes short of election in 2010...Blyleven is the first Hall of Famer born in The Netherlands...Blyleven is the first starting pitcher elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA since Nolan Ryan in 1999...Blyleven posted a 287-250 record in 22 big league seasons with the Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Indians and Angels...His 3,701 strikeouts rank fifth on the all-time list and were the third-best total ever at the time of his retirement in 1992...He is ninth on the career shutouts list with 60, 11th on the games started list (685) and 14th in innings pitched (4,970)...Blyleven was named to two All-Star Games (1973 and 1985) and pitched in eight postseason games, going 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA...He was a member of World Series-winning teams with the Pirates in 1979 and the Twins in 1987...As a member of the Texas Rangers, Blyleven no-hit the Angels on Sept. 22, 1977.
PAT GILLICK: The Expansion Era Committee elected former Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners and Phillies general manager Pat Gillick to the Hall of Fame on Dec. 6...Gillick, whose teams posted winning records in 20 of his 27 seasons as a general manager, received 13 of 16 votes from the Expansion Era Committee...Gillick's teams advanced to the postseason in 11 of his seasons as a general manager, with the Blue Jays winning World Series titles in 1992 and 1993 and the Phillies taking home the crown in 2008...Each of Gillick's four franchises (Blue Jays 1978-94; Orioles 1996-98, Mariners 2000-03, Phillies 2006-08) advanced to the postseason while he was at the helm...Gillick is the 32nd executive to be elected to the Hall of Fame and the fourth who spent his time primarily as a general manager, joining Ed Barrow, Branch Rickey and George Weiss.