Twins announce Bert Blyleven to transition into special assistant role; hang up mic on Twins broadcasts

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Twins announced National Baseball Hall of Fame member Bert Blyleven will transition from the broadcast booth into a special assistant position with the organization.

The team said his duties will consist of engaging with fans and partners by making special appearances on behalf of the organization throughout the year. Additionally, Blyleven will continue to serve as an on-field instructor for the Twins during Spring Training.

Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox will be Blyleven’s final game in the booth, after 25 seasons as a broadcaster.

"It is not often you can bring a Hall of Famer and a World Series champion into your broadcast booth, much less one who possesses that enviable combination of knowledge and charisma to keep fans hooked for more than two decades; the Twins did just that with Bert Blyleven," said club President & CEO Dave St. Peter in a release. "While his on-field contributions for the club are well-documented, we are truly grateful for Bert’s 25 years of introducing new Twins fans to the game through his stories, insight and analysis on our television broadcasts. He is a great ambassador for baseball, and we look forward to his continued role with the Minnesota Twins. Bert, you are hereby circled!"

Blyleven’s tenure as a full-time analyst began in 1996 on the Midwest Sports Channel. His broadcast partners included Tommy John, Ryan Lefebvre, and current Twins play-by-play broadcaster Dick Bremer. Since 2006, Blyleven’s work in the broadcast booth contributed to 10 distinct Emmy Awards presented to FSN. Beyond offering the insights gleaned from a 22-year major league career, Blyleven’s broadcast tenure will also be forever remembered by Twins fans for the "Circle Me Bert" phenomenon that started in 2002. The simple salutation from the analyst became a staple of Twins broadcasts and, subsequently, a vehicle to raise funds toward developing a cure for Parkinson’s disease, along with other charitable donations.

"It’s amazing to think about how many families have sat down together to watch a Twins game on TV and listened to ‘Dick and Bert’ over the past 25 years," said FOX Sports North Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Dimond in a release. "Bert has been a constant and familiar voice in so many homes across Twins Territory. He has educated fans, served as a cherished storyteller, shared emotion during unforgettable moments and connected with viewers with his one-of-a-kind personality. We are forever grateful for all of the television memories he has provided us."

After the announcement, Blyleven tweeted, "For 25 years I have had the privilege to be part of the Twins broadcast team. Tonight sad to say will be my last Twins broadcast. But I will continue to serve my role as a Special Assistant for future years … I want to thank the Twins organization, Dave St.Peter and ESPECIALLY THE FANS for your support over the years. You are ALL ‘Hereby Circled.’ God Bless and be safe."

Blyleven is considered one of the 50 greatest Twins and played 11 of his 22 seasons with the franchise, winning 149 games, second-best in the organization’s history. He also holds the records for strikeouts on the team, with 2,035.

Bert and his wife, Gayle, reside in Fort Myers, Fla. and have six children and eight grandchildren. They are involved in helping raise funds for Parkinson’s Association and other charitable organizations.