From Little League to Legion baseball to the major leagues, baseball has played an important part in Minnesota’s cultural heritage. Former Minnesota Twin and Hall of Famer, Bert Blyleven, will be making an appearance in Cambridge to talk, share stories and meet with fans.
Blyleven will be speaking at the Richard G. Hardy Performing Arts Center at Cambridge-Isanti High School on Tuesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Blyleven will sign autographs for a limited time following the program. Due to time constraints, please be aware that not everyone may get an autograph. No jerseys or bats are allowed, one autograph per person and other restrictions will apply.
Blyleven was born Rik Aalbert Blijleven in Zeist, Netherlands in 1951. He was raised in Garden Grove, Calif. and drafted by the Minnesota Twins right after high school in 1969. He entered the major leagues the following year at the young age of 19 and was named American League Rookie of the Year by Sporting News.
During his baseball career he played for the Texas Rangers, the California Angels, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cleveland Indians, returned to the Twins in 1987 and then finished his career with the California Angels. Blyleven has two World Series rings —one with the Pirates in 1979 and one with the Twins in 1987. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July 2011.
Many of us know Blyleven from his color commentary for the Minnesota Twins with fellow broadcaster, Dick Bremer. The “Circle Me Bert” phenomenon took off when he used the telestrator (which permits on-screen highlighting by a commentator) to circle something on the screen during a Twins game. The popularity of the “Circle Me Bert” catch-phrase has enabled Blyleven and his wife, Gayle, to raise money for Parkinson’s Disease, a cause close to their hearts.
Blyleven’s visit is sponsored by East Central Regional Library and Cambridge-Isanti Community Education. It is made possible with money from Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. For more information call the Cambridge Public Library at 763-689-7390 x15.