(The following blogpost was written by Dan Genzler of Sioux Falls, S.D., who writes The Genz blog — www.genzmania.blogspot.com)
Aberdeen native Terry Francona, now the Red Sox skipper, won his 1,000th game as a manager with a win over Seattle on Saturday. Francona was born in Aberdeen and moved with his family to Beaver County, PA. His father, John “Tito” Francona is a former major leaguer from 1956-70. Francona served as the Tigers’ third-base coach in 1996.

Blyleven Deserving of Hall Recognition…Did you know that former Twins player Bert Blyleven is one of 10 foreign-born major leaguers to being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Blyleven is from The Netherlands. Another Minnesota star (also of the Angels), Rod Carew is among those 10. He is from Panama.

Blyleven is obviously a deserving enshrinee who showed off his humor and good-natured personality during his speech at Cooperstown on Sunday on MLB Network. As noted by Matt Zimmer of the Argus Leader in a column on Monday, July 25, Blyleven is probably best known by those 35 years and younger for his TV work as a Twins color analyst.

The comical and easy going Blyleven is especially known around the league for his “Circle me Bert” promotion. Years ago, he was a major leaguer for 22 seasons, finishing with 60 shutouts and 3,701 strikeouts that rank fifth all-time in baseball history. A two-time all-star, Blyleven pitched a no-hitter in 1977 and has had his number, #28, retired by the Twins. He won 287 games and lost 250 with a 3.31 ERA.

Blyelven, who was part of the Twins 1987 World Series championship team, was elected on the 14th HOF ballot after years of personal frustration for Bert and his fans. There are a lot of other “great” things that can be said about Blyleven but he is a class guy that deserved enshrinement.

He calls Dodger HOF pitcher Sandy Koufax, who some considered the best pitcher of all time, a great inspiration (with good reason). Yet Blyleven had perhaps the greatest curveball of all time, yes better than Koufax. It is time that he was honored by baseball’s Hall. Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson said that Blyleven had a “knee buckling curve” and the long wait for enshrinement was a bit knee buckling for Bert and all his fans. Good for you Bert – congratulations (yes, from a Tigers’ fan).