It’s time for the baseball Hall of Fame debates to begin. From now until the results are announced, FanIQ will be taking a look at this year’s major candidates. Leading off (appropriately): Tim Raines.
Tim Raines is the most notable new name on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot (that isn’t on the Mitchell Report, that is). Raines played 23 seasons in the majors, starting in 1979 with six games in
Pros For Induction
Simply put, Tim Raines is the second greatest lead-off hitter of all-time. He’s not quite in Rickey Henderson’s league, but for a few years it was close. Raines did three things exceptionally well: get on base, steal bases, and score runs. His career OBP was .385, excellent for a lead-off guy who played until he was 42. Raines is fifth in career stolen bases with an 84.7% success rate. That is the highest success rate of any player with at least 300 swipes. Raines was not only among the fastest base runners, he was one of the smartest.
Raines did most of his damage from 1981-1990, his years in
While he wasn’t as good the rest of his career as those five years, his stats show that Raines never had a bad year as a regular. Even as a part-timer, Raines helped the team by getting on base and scoring runs when he did get to the plate. Raines is also credited as an emotional leader of the early Yankee dynasty teams. This was a 180 from his former reputation.
Cons Against Induction
He was nicknamed Rock because of his physique, but it soon became synonymous with the vials of cocaine in his back pocket. As the story goes (and admitted to by Raines), he would slide headfirst so as not to break the vials. Raines would beat his addiction, but given the current emphasis on character, it won’t help him.
Tim Raines was not quite in Rickey Henderson’s class as a player, at least for as long as
For a guy that played 23 seasons, 2605 hits doesn’t seem like that much (although it’s tied for 68th all-time). Since Raines obviously didn’t have a power game, some will see his lack of 3000 hits and dismiss him outright.
For six years, Raines played at as high as level as you can get. The rest of his career wasn’t as spectacular after that, but he was always a solid regular at worst until becoming a top clubhouse presence in
Will He Get In?
This time around, probably not. There has been some support for Raines, and a whole website devoted to his cause, but this won’t be the year. His total will likely be somewhere between 35-55%. If he can get above 50% this time, he’ll have a shot in future years. If not, it will be a struggle, one that should not need to happen.
Now it’s your turn. Discuss Raines’s candidacy in the comments, and be sure to vote in both his individual poll and Seth’s poll encompassing the entire ballot.