Hall Of Fame Debate: Jack Morris VS Bert Blyleven

Hall Of Fame Debate: Jack Morris VS Bert Blyleven

While researching this week’s ‘Million Dollar Question’ I reviewed a lot of closed auctions on Ebay.  Among them, was a handful of rookie baseball cards – and my goal was to find the most underappreciated rookie card from the 1970’s.  My choice was Eddie Murray’s card from the 1978 Topps set.

The card that finished in second place during my search was Jack Morris’ rookie card from the same 1978 Topps set.  Amazingly, that card can be regularly had for under $5.00.

I have that card in my collection.  And I am happy that I do.

As you all know, this is the final year that Morris can appear on the ballot for Hall of Fame enshrinement, and like a fellow pitcher that made the Hall of Fame on his last attempt, he stands a good chance to gain the needed 75%.

That other pitcher – Bert Blyleven.

So, I thought we could do a little side-by-side between the two players and their major league careers.  And while we’re at it – let’s decide which pitcher was ‘better’ and also vote for Morris’ HOF status as well.

Sound good?

Great – Let’s do this!!


Here is a look at stats:

  Blyleven Morris
Seasons 22 18
Starts 685 527
Wins 287 254
Losses 250 186
Win % 0.534 0.577
20+ Win Seasons 1 3
15-19 Win Seasons 9 9
Complete Games 242 175
Shutouts 60 28
ERA 3.31 3.9
Strikeouts 3,701 2,478
Walks 1,322 1,390
K:Walk 2.8 1.78
K:9 Innings 6.7 5.8
All-Star 2 5
Postseasons 3 4
WS Titles 2 3

While very comparable, there are definitely areas of the game in which each player excelled.

For Blyleven, he was obviously a more dominant pitcher – his strikeout tally is much great than that of Morris, and the number of K’s per 9 innings is solid.  His complete games and shutouts are also much greater than what Morris compiled.

As for Morris, he was a more consistent winner – and has a higher career win percentage.  He averaged more wins per season than Blyleven over the length of his career but had a higher ERA as well.  Morris was an All-Star 5 times during his career – very notable for his era.

As for the postseason, both did very well – but it was Morris that stood out with his MVP performances.

And now, on to my vote:

Between Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris, I would state that Blyleven was the better, more dominant and accomplished pitcher.  His career tally in strikeouts is elite, and he is known to have the best curve-ball in the history of the games.

And as for Morris’ Hall of Fame entry, you better believe that I think he belongs.  This guy was so good – even as he got older, he was able to control the game from the mound and he often shined the most in the postseason.

Now, it is your turn – Tell me who you feel had a better overall career and also give me your vote for Morris’ Hall of Fame eligibility.

I cannot wait to read your comments!!!

8 responses to “Hall Of Fame Debate: Jack Morris VS Bert Blyleven

  1. As a twins fan I’m biased, I think both should be in. However I think Blyleven was a better pitcher, he was one good team short of having 300 wins, unfortunately I think my Twins held him back a bit. That being said, Jack Morris’s game 7 of the 91 world series is one of my fondest memories. Amazing job that night under more pressure than many of us will ever be under.

    • Zebulon- Most of Blyleven’s best seasons occurred prior to my becoming a baseball fan, while I witnessed Morris be spectacular multiple times. Still, it is hard for me to argue against the magnificnet career of Blyleven. I believe that Morris is a tier or two below him.

  2. Blyleven should be in and unfortunately I don’t think Morris makes the cut. Byleven walked less batters (68 less) struck out more batters (1,223 more) and had a better WHIP (1.198 to 1.296). Morris was good but not HOF good. He definitely belongs in the Tigers and Twins HOF.

    • Matt- I’m with you. Morris’ body of work is outstanding, but not elite. Yes, he had stellar moments in the World Series, but I would agree that the body of work is worthy of team acknowledgement, just not Cooperstown.

  3. If you took away the career # of complete games and shutouts by Blyleven, it would be close. But those two stats really really stand out. So I have to say Blyleven. What is really amazing is his consistency considering the number of teams he went through.

    • Charley- I’m with you. Those stats mnay have mattered a lot more during that era than they do today, but there is no doubting how much more superior Blyleven was at closing games.

      Thanks for visiting – it has been a while… I hope that all is well!

      • Really well. I just haven’t had as much free time lately to come by. I’m doing some consulting work now in the evenings. Between that and the kiddo, not as much time to browse as there used to be.

      • Charley- I’m happy to hear that all is well. Stay in touch and stop by when you can. B

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