Cooperstown needs a piece of "The Rock" by John Brattain
Is 'The Hawk' or 'The Rock' the lock? by John Brattain
Worthy Hall-of-Famer by John Brattain
Raines of Terror by John Brattain
Tim Raines: Hall of Famer! by Rob Soria
Rock Pounds Round Numbers Flat by Neate Sager
The Tim Raines Interview by Jonah Keri
Tim Raines was robbed by John Brattain
He Raines With Other Kings of the Diamond... by John Brattain
On Tim Raines and Fandom by Jonah Keri
Interview with Jonah Keri by Bugs and Cranks
Rock Pile by Eugene Freedman
Tim Raines Interview by Baseball Prospectus
I won a batting title and hit .294 lifetime, and over the course of 23 years that's a lot of at-bats to have a high batting average. Overall, I feel that I was as good of a hitter as I was a guy on the base paths. I think that kind of gets lost to a lot of people though, because there were guys who hit for a higher average than I did. But I feel that I was a guy who could do it all. My on-base percentage was pretty high, which is what gave me an opportunity to be so successful on the base paths. That's one thing about on-base percentage--it helps you to score runs. You can't steal first base.
[The Hall of Fame] would be meaningful to me, I'll say that. When I started out, my main concern was to play as long as I could. You grow up dreaming of being a big league player, but you don�t really understand what it takes to get there, or to stay there. I'm proud of having played for as long as I did, and I think I had a pretty good career. It would mean a lot to me to be given such an honor.
A Hall of Famer Retires by Baseball Prospectus
But being second to Rickey Henderson ... is no crime. Henderson is a first-ballot, no-question, inner-circle Hall of Famer. Raines isn�t as cut-and-dried, but being one of the ten best left fielders in history gets you a plaque, regardless of in whose shadow you played.
Rock: the Vote by Baseball Prospectus
Raines' candidacy stems from a combination of three things: (a) the electricity he generated in his prime, with his dazzling speed and athleticism. Tim Raines could take over a game, as his comeback from collusion-driven contract limbo and his bravura performance at the 1987 All-Star Game showed;
All Rock, All the Time by Baseball Prospectus
Raines was up-front about his youthful dalliance with cocaine, and over the course of his career, his candor became a point solidly in his favor, something that gave him credibility when dealing with the media or counseling teammates. Would that more of our Hall of Fame candidates followed his example by coming clean about their own past transgressions.
The Case for Tim Raines by Baseball Prospectus
So, in a nutshell, is Raines a deserving Hall of Famer? Yes. Not resoundingly yes, but yes. If he were eligible today and not enshrined, he wouldn�t rank as the best player to be snubbed--Ron Santo would still hold that distinction--but he�d probably be next in line.
The Class of 2008 by Baseball Prospectus
The conclusion is the same: Tony Gwynn and Tim Raines were two fantastic ballplayers who had slightly different skills. One was disproportionately heralded in his time thanks to his extreme success by the traditional measures of batting average and hits, while the other was under-appreciated in a career that included a more concentrated early peak and a lot more ups and downs. The two were equally valuable on both career and peak levels, and there is absolutely no reason why one should be in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot while the other should languish outside for more than five seconds. If the voters don't see it that way--and the early line is that they won't, at least initially--it will be a gross injustice.
A Rock-solid case by Sports Illustrated
Why wait to appreciate Raines? Shouldn't we know by now that Hall of Fame greatness doesn't always have to be about MVP awards and the big, round numbers?
30 Rock by Baseball Analysts
Had Raines gotten 3,000 hits and walked 935 times rather than accumulating 2605 hits and 1,330 walks, do you think there would be any question as to whether he was worthy of the HOF? I recognize that hits are generally more valuable than walks but the difference is less meaningful for a batter leading off the inning or with nobody on base (unless, of course, the hit goes for extra bases).
Bill James on Tim Raines by Baseball Analysts
Earlier in the book, under "Rain Delay," James penned one of his best essays, holding a conversation with himself in the search of the best baseball player in the game. It's a six pager with insightful comments on about 20 players. His conclusion? James ranked Boggs as the best player in baseball, followed by Raines, Ozzie Smith, Don Mattingly, Tony Gwynn, Darryl Strawberry, Dale Murphy, Roger Clemens, Rickey Henderson, and Kirby Puckett.
Tim Raines and the Tablesetters by The Hardball Times
I would not, when you line up their full careers, put Raines on the level with Rose and Henderson, but he was arguably the best player in baseball at his peak, a great player for nearly a decade, a good one for another half a decade and a productive contributor to a championship team for three more seasons. Raines certainly fits my definition of a Hall of Famer.
Stark v Gammons by ESPN
I also respect him immensely for never backing off open discussions about the drug problems he overcame, and consider him a role model for those afflicted. There is a reason that I wait so long to file my ballot, and this debate is a great example. Given that he reached base more than Gwynn and, with Henderson and Boggs, helped change the leadoff position (if someone reaches base, one has a rally), I throw up my arms, beg mea culpa and am now voting for Raines.
Raines Could Slide Safely Into the Hall by NY Times
The best runners today have the talent to add about four runs per season with their legs. By contrast, Raines and his peers, Henderson and Willie Wilson, averaged an extra 10 runs a year, roughly comparable to the gap between six home runs and six strikeouts. The great runners of the 1980s excelled in different areas. For all of his renown as a base stealer, it was Henderson's ability to take the extra base on hits that distinguished him, and Raines was the best pure base stealer thanks to his astronomical success rate. But all three of them compiled more than 100 runs with their legs over their careers, a nearly superhuman feat.
Don't Knock the Rock by Sports Illustrated (1984)
Teammate Pete Rose is unequivocal in assessing Raines: "Right now he's the best player in the National League. Mike Schmidt is a tremendous player and so are Dale Murphy and Andre Dawson, but Rock [Raines's nickname, more about that later] can beat you in more ways than any other player in the league. He can beat you with his glove, his speed and his hitting from either side of the plate. And he has the perfect disposition for a great player -- he has fun. He's just a happy guy. You can't tell if he has gone oh for four or four for four. He's the same at eight in the morning as he is at eight at night. I've never seen him in a bad mood. And as far as running the bases, I don't see how they ever throw him out. But he doesn't just do it on speed alone. He knows the pitchers, so he gets a great jump."
John McHale (RIP) on Tim Raines by Canada.com
McHale explained: "I was emotionally involved because you see a young man being destroyed. Fortunately, Tim Raines had the courage to accept the training and rehab and it turned out be a great victory for him."
More Bang For More Bucks by Sports Illustrated (1987)
Raines kicks habit by Michael Farber (1982)
The Cooperstown case for Tim Raines by The Hardball Times
With Raines, though, it shouldn't make any difference if you prefer peak or if you prefer career. Either way, he is highly qualified for Cooperstown.
Why Tim Raines Should have been Elected on the First Ballot by Craig R. Wright
Tim Raines is not only deserving of a plaque in Cooperstown, he should have gone in on the first ballot.
Raines belongs in Hall by ESPN
If you watched baseball in the 1980s, the premise that Tim Raines is a Hall of Famer requires no justification.
JAWS and the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot: Tim Raines by SI.com
It ain't over for Tim Raines, but it should be. He deserves election to the Hall of Fame without another moment's wait. Posthaste. ASAP. Pronto. Immediately. NOW.