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BGCGG is a great organization that inspired me throughout my life.

Bert Blyleven

Bert Blyleven was a Major League Pitcher from 1970-1992. He was drafted out of High School with The Minnesota Twins Organization. At the age of nineteen, after twenty-one minor league starts, Bert was brought up to the Major Leagues. He went on to have a extraordinarily successful baseball career playing for five Major League teams, beginning with The Twins, followed by The Rangers, The Pirates, The Indians, and The Angels. He was an integral member of two different World Championship teams; first with The Pirates in 1979, and then with The Twins in 1987, Bert Blyleven has proudly won two World Series Championship rings. Bert also has the incredible honor of being a Baseball Hall of Fame nominee. He has been an announcer for the Minnesota Twins Organization for the last thirteen years.

 

Most recently he served as the pitching coach for the Netherlands (his native country) in The 2009 World Baseball Classic. Bert was raised in Garden Grove and went through the local school system attending Warren Elementary School, Walton Intermediate School, and Santiago High School.
 
Bert comes from a family of seven children, three boys, and four girls. He attended the Main Branch location at the ages of 9, 10, and 11. Bert said his family life was very stable and the only challenge was finding an opportunity to “hang out” and play basketball.  Bert's fondest memories include playing basketball and shooting carroms. Carroms stands out as one of his all-time favorite childhood games. Our Club staff had great coaches and was very helpful in coaching Bert.   One of Bert's Club memories is when he spent time throwing & catching the ball against our Club’s wall. Our staff taught the children to be respectful to the club and equipment which permitted them to play and remain members.  He remembers the Club staff as a very positive influence in his life.
 
 
In 1994 Bert returned to our Garden Grove Community with a desire to make a difference. Bert was inspired by an after school program that Warren offered, and in turn decided to start a program of his own at Peters Elementary School. It was through Peters Elementary School that he initiated Bert Blyleven’s Leagues Afterschool Time (BLAST). The BLAST program, operated by the Boys & Girls Clubs provided children with the opportunity to participate in afterschool games, enrichment and recreation, and was a catalyst for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove to work with the School District and the Police Department. As a result this program initiated programs at over 50 schools in Bert’s hometown of Garden Grove. Bert has become an upstanding and cherished member of the local community through his contributions.


When asked about his philanthropic advice Bert has said:

“I would tell anyone that is thinking about donating time or money, that BGCGG is a great place, and I am thankful I was part of it. It has inspired me throughout my life. I feel the kids of today are faced with different obstacles than when I was a kid ---hectic schedules, higher divorce rate, more negative influences. Good hearted counselors need to be filtered more into the schools. My advice to the youth of today—Have fun! Enjoy being a kid, respect what you have, stay out of trouble, believe in yourself…and high school dreams come true.”

 

 
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