BERT BLYLEVENGame 187 | August 10, 1970
Bert Blyleven, Danny Thompson
Born in the Netherlands, Blyleven made his major league debut in June 1970 after only 21 minor league games. He pitched for the Twins from 1970-1976 and returned from 1985-1988 and played a major role in helping his team win the 1987 World Series. Thompson played shortstop with the Twins from 1970-1976 and was traded with Blyleven to the Texas Rangers for four players, including future Dunkers Head Coach Roy Smalley. Thompson, diagnosed with leukemia before the 1974 season, made his final start with Texas against Minnesota on September 29, 1970. He died at age 29 less than 10 weeks later.
Game 228 | July 16, 1974
Bert Blyleven, Phil Roof
A career backup catcher, Roof managed in the Twins' minor league system for nearly two decades and is given credit for the development of many players who went on to star for the Twins. He hit .196 with two home runs in the 197 4 season. Blyleven won 17 games with a 2.66 earned run average for the 1974 Twins.
Game 492 | February 6, 1996
Herb Carneal, John Gordon, Dick Bremer, Tommy John, Bery Blyleven, Ryan Lefebvre
Just before the start of 1996 spring training the Twins radio and television broadcasters visited Dunkers and shared their thoughts on the young team. The radio crew again that year was Herb Carneal and John Gordon. The four-man television team included Dick Bremer, Tommy John, Bert Blyleven and Ryan Lefebvre.
Game 500 | July 11, 1996
Herb Score, Tommy John, Bert Blyleven
With the Cleveland Indians in town to play the Minnesota Twins, broadcasters John and Blyleven invited their friend from their years with the Indians to join them at Dunkers. With the Minneapolis Club fully booked, this meeting was held at Interlachen Country Club. Score, a hard-throwing left bander, was one of the top power pitchers in baseball in the mid 50s. In 1957 he was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of New York's Gil McDougald. While he was able to come back, he was never again the pitcher he was before the injury. He served as a Cleveland broadcaster from 1964 to 1997.
Game 520 | October 14,1997
Stu Voight, Trent Tucker, Tom Reid, Bert Blyleven
This was an unusual meeting for the Dunkers in that it focused on the color analysts for the four professional sports teams. Voigt, the former Wisconsin Badger and Vikings tight end, talked about the Vikings. Tucker, the former Gopher and NBA sharpshooter, covered the Timberwolves. Reid, the former North Star, worked as an analyst on North Star broadcasts before the team left for Dallas. He covered Gopher hockey until the arrival of the Minnesota Wild. Blyleven joined the Twins broadcast team in 1995.
Game 613 | January 31, 2003
Bert Blyleven, Doug Mientkiewicz
Veteran Twins pitcher Blyleven introduced Mientkiewicz, the man with the longest last name in Twins history. Mientkiewicz played briefly with the Twins in 1998-2000 and took over the first base job in 2001. He was traded in mid-season 2004 to the Boston Red Sox and made history later that fall when he recorded the final out in the Red Sox World Series victory.
Game 632 | May 13, 2004
Tony Oliva, Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris
This meeting focused on three former Twins who, despite outstanding major league statistics, had not been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Oliva won batting titles in his first two seasons, finished with a career batting average of .304 and was the 1964 American League Player of the Year. Blyleven is fifth on the major league all-time strikeout list with 3,701. He won 287 major league games and threw 60 shutouts. Morris, the dominant American League pitcher in the 1980s with Detroit, won 254 games and was the winning pitcher for the Twins in the seventh game of the 1991 World Series.
Game 701 | August 20, 2007
Tom Brunansky, Bert Blyleven
The Twins had a solid response to the weekend in which they recognized the 20th anniversary of the 1987 World Series Championship team. Right fielder Brunansky hit 32 home runs that year, and was one of three Twins (Kent Hrbek and Gary Gaetti) to hit more than 30. Blyleven's 15 victories that season were second best to Frank Viola, who had 17. Both players said the reunion wasn't the same without Kirby Puckett, who died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2006.
Game 769 | January 28, 2011
Shortly after learning he had been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Blyleven told Dunkers he had never given up hope. With 287 career victories and 3,701 strikeouts (fifth all-time), Blyleven was named on 79.7 percent of the votes in his 14th year on the ballot. He told Dunkers that he greatly enjoyed his role as a Twins television commentator; something he began in 1996.
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