The 2011 Baseball Hall of Fame class is Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar, as they were elected to the Hall of Fame on Wednesday (check out our article on the 2010 class here). Alomar finally got enough votes in his second year on the ballot, while Blyleven was elected in his 14th year on the ballot. None of the new players on the ballot this year even came close to being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, revealing that the voters were ready to make a statement about rumors on performance enhancing drugs. Overall, it was a solid class.
According to Major League Baseball, only four players who appeared on the ballot for the first time collected enough votes to remain on the ballot next year. They were Jeff Bagwell with 242 votes (41.7 percent), Larry Walker with 118 votes (20.3 percent), Rafael Palmeiro with 64 votes (11 percent), and Juan Gonzalez with 30 votes (5.2 percent). Players not receiving enough votes included Harold Baines, John Franco, John Olerud, and Bret Boone. The requirement is to receive at least 5 percent of the total votes to make it on to another ballot.
Though some of this voting is getting pretty controversial, this was a day to celebrate the achievements of Alomar and Blyleven, whether fans feel they deserve to be elected or not. They received enough votes from their peers, even though there had been doubts that Blyleven was ever going to receive enough support to be called one of the best pitchers of all time.
During his career, Alomar played for seven teams, making his biggest marks as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians. He ended his career with 2,724 hits; 1,508 runs; and 474 stolen bases. Alomar was also a 12-time All Star, won 10 Gold Glove Awards at second base, and also won four Silver Slugger Awards at second base. Along the way, he won two World Series rings as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, and played in five American League Championship Series.
Blyleven played his career for five teams, spending 11 years with the Minnesota Twins. He ended his career with a record of 287-250; 3,701 strike outs; and in 1985 finished first in the league with 24 complete games. Blyleven was an All-Star just twice in his career, and never won a Cy Young Award. He won 20 games for the Twins back in 1973, and had a 19-7 record for the Cleveland Indians in 1984. Blyleven also won two World Series titles, one for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1979 and another for the Minnesota Twins in 1987.