Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Tim Raines!!!
Not counting any of the players that were on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2013 for the first time, it is Tim Raines that I feel is the most deserving of Hall of Fame enshrinement among eligible players.
Unfortunately for him, his career has been overshadowed for two primary reasons. (1) Raines spent the first twelve seasons of his major league career playing in Montreal (2) He played at the same time that Rickey Henderson was revolutionizing the lead-off spot.
Still, even with those two obvious issues getting in the way of Raines being recognized properly by the BWAA, his career numbers are fantastic. And they are on par with some of the best base runners of all-time.
Here is a quick comparison between Tim Raines, Rickey Henderson, and Lou Brock:
|100+ Steals Seasons||0||3||1|
|80-99 Steals Seasons||1||3||0|
|World Series Wins||1||2||2|
Clearly, there are parts of the game in which Rickey Henderson is heads and shoulders above these other two players, all of baseball for that matter.
But, when you look at other aspects of the game, like on-base percentage, stolen base success rate, Raines holds his own with these two Hall of Famers.
Also, take a look at the number of times Raines struck out over the course of his career compared to both Henderson and Brock – he was supremely disciplined at the plate; just what you want from your lead-off hitter.
1980′s baseball is the foundation of my love for the sport. I watched Tim Raines and Rickey Henderson change the way that the game was played from the lead-0ff position. I could not imagine how players from the 1990′s and 2000′s would have played the game had it not been for what Raines and Henderson contributed to the game.
Sadly, Lou Brock retired from the sport when I was just six years old. I never got to see the impact he made on the game, just read about it.
Taking all of that into consideration, and having a very strong passion for the history of the game, I would never say that Tim Raines was better than either of these two Hall of Famers. But, he can be compared to them. And for the most part, he can hold his own when being judged in many of the fields that make for an elite lead-off hitter.
So, yes, I am very surprised by the lack of support Raines gets from the BWAA. Garnering just 52.2% of the vote that he picked up in his sixth year of eligibility.
What do you think? Does Tim Raines deserve to be elected into the Hall of Fame? Does he belong at Cooperstown with the other players that helped define baseball of the 1980′s?
Let me know your opinion. Cast your vote for Tim Raines now!!
Consider this my vote, YES!!!