Here’s hoping that the forecast on January 17th 2017 will be sunny with heavy “Raines.” Raines as in Tim Raines. That’s the day the voting results are announced for the Hall of Fame class of 2017. For Tim Raines it’s his last chance to get voted in by the Baseball Writers of America Association after spending nine years on the ballot.
Having been a candidate for so long, Raines stats remain the same, and are well known to the voters. A dominating force during the decade of the 80’s, he was equivalent to a poor man’s Rickey Henderson and has always been overshadowed.
Raines came up to the big leagues for good during the strike shortened 1981 season and rejuvenated his Montreal Expos baseball team. That was the same year of Fernandomania, as the Los Angeles Dodgers Mexican sensation Fernando Valenzuela finished ahead of Raines with the National League’s top rookie honors.
The now defunct Expos had some storied players on their roster, which included Raines former teammates and Hall of Famers Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, and Randy Johnson. During that 12-year period in Montreal, Raines left his mark on the base paths via the lost art of the stolen base.
In Raines later years he contributed to World Championships with the 1996 and 1998 New York Yankees teams. He also left his stamp with the Baltimore Orioles, when he took the field along with his son, Tim Raines Jr., to become the second father-son combo along with the Ken Griffey’s.
The ballots are soon due in and a check next to Raines’s name will help his cause, as he has steadily moved up the ladder towards the mandatory 75% vote total needed to achieve immortality. His high of 69.8% on last year’s ballot gives him hope in his final season of eligibility. So come on writers, it’s up to you to look out for a damn good guy, who’s constant smile will only get wider on January 17th when the announcement is made.
If you need one more antidote on this speedster, then keep in mind that only three others have totaled over 700 stolen bases and 2000 hits. Their names are Lou Brock, Ty Cobb, and Honus Wagner. All three are in the Hall of Fame. Raines and Cobb are the only two players to add over 1200 base on balls to the mix.
The writers who cast their votes are in total control of the weather on January 17th. Let’s hope the “Raines” will pour for Timothy “Rock” Raines. Hopefully he’ll become the 22nd left fielder with an H.O.F. attached to his name.