Blyleven pays tribute to parents, Dutch heritage

Blyleven pays tribute to parents, Dutch heritage

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven is best known for his years with the Minnesota Twins, but during this particular stretch of March, his identity is wrapped up in his native country.

Blyleven was born in the Netherlands where both of his parents were born and raised. The family moved to Canada when Blyleven was 2 and to California when he was 5.

Serving as the pitching coach to the Kingdom of the Netherlands is a tribute to his mom and dad, both of whom are deceased. His mother passed away in December; his dad, in 2004.

"Every time that Dutch national anthem is played, I think of them," he said. "I thank them for giving me an opportunity to play a game that I fell in love with."

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.