It's the end of an era for Twins baseball as Bert Blyleven bid farewell after 25 years in the broadcast booth Wednesday night.
News of the Hall of Fame pitcher's final broadcast didn't break until just hours before the game, which Blyleven took in stride with his usual schtick, poking fun at the third-place Yankees, saying pitchers are the best athletes on the field, and joking that a White Sox reliever with his sleeve rolled up looked like it was missing a pack of cigarettes.
"Vin Scully once told me to enjoy every broadcast, and for 25 years I've had the privilege of being part of the great Twins broadcast team. Tonight, sad to say this will be my last Twins broadcast," Blyleven said during the pregame show on FOX Sports North.
"I want to thank Dave St. Peter, the Twins organization and especially you the fans for your support over the years. You are all herby circled. God bless you all and be safe, and now let's play some baseball."
Before the first pitch, with both teams standing along the first baseline, all of the players tipped their caps to Blyleven, who waved from the broadcast booth perched behind and above home plate.
Blyleven's broadcast partner for all 25 years, Dick Bremer, gave his typical left-hand toast following a Twins victory to his longtime colleague and friend, saying, "Thanks for all the laughs and for ruining my sense of smell."
"I am overwhelmed by all the texts and tweets I received before and during the game. Good Twins win! Thank you everyone for showing your love and support. Be safe and God Bless," Blyleven tweeted.
The 69-year-old will transition to a special assistant role with the Twins, serving as a public personality for the franchise and working as an on-field instructor during spring training.
Blyleven was originally scheduled to work 30 games before the pandemic forced Major League Baseball to shorten the season to 60 games. The remaining Twins broadcasts will see Bremer in the booth with Justin Morneau, Roy Smalley and Jack Morris.