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Alomar drew 73.7 percent last year in his first try on the ballot. Blyleven had come even closer, missing by just five votes while getting 74.2 percent.

“Robbie was an incredible player. He was a pleasure to watch play the game and I am not saying that because he was my brother. He had all the tools and put them all into play,” former Cleveland teammate Sandy Alomar Jr. said.

Alomar got his first major league hit off Nolan Ryan in 1988. Ryan was the last pure starting pitcher elected to the Hall by the BBWAA in 1999.

Blyleven, now 59, pitched against Alomar and his father, Sandy Alomar.

It was quite a climb for Blyleven, who helped pitch Pittsburgh to the 1979 title and Minnesota to the 1987 crown. Many years ago, he drew barely over 14 percent in the BBWAA voting.

Blyleven’s career stats have gotten a boost in recent years by sabermetricians who have new ways to evaluate baseball numbers.

“I could not be happier if it was my own son,” Twins Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew said. “I played in the first game Bert pitched for the Minnesota Twins in 1970. … I wish it wouldn’t have taken so long but now that he is in, it’s wonderful.”

Barry Larkin and Tim Raines showed gains in this year’s voting. Pete Rose received three write-in votes.

Larkin (62 percent) and Jack Morris (54 percent) could get more consideration next year, when Bernie Williams is the top first-year candidate.

“My words to Jack are, ‘Don’t give up,’” Blyleven said.

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AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich in Washington contributed to this report.