THE BOOK cover
Book Cover image Courtesy of Andrea Lavoie

What others are saying
about Tim Raines


SECTIONS
Achievements
  • All-Star
  • Awards
  • Big Games
  •  
    Analysis
  • Leadoff Hitters
  • #3 Hitters
  • Contemporary Greats
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    Recent Articles
  • TIM RAINESí HALL OF FAME CASE (pdf)
  • JAWS and Tim Raines
  • Raines belongs in Hall
  • First Ballot Worthy
  • The HOF case for Raines
  •  
    Articles
  • Cooperstown needs a piece of The Rock
  • Is The Hawk or The Rock the lock?
  • Worthy Hall-of-Famer
  • Raines of Terror
  • Tim Raines: Hall of Famer!
  • Rock Pounds Round Numbers Flat
  • The Tim Raines Interview
  • Tim Raines was robbed
  • He Raines With Kings
  • Tim Raines and Fandom
  • Interview with Jonah Keri
  • Rock Pile
  •  
    Articles (External)
  • Tim Raines Interview
  • A Hall of Famer Retires
  • Rock: the Vote
  • All Rock, All the Time
  • The Case for Tim Raines
  • The Class of 2008
  • A Rock-solid case
  • 30 Rock
  • Bill James on Tim Raines
  • Tim Raines and the Tablesetters
  • Stark v Gammons
  • Raines Could Slide Safely Into the Hall
  • Don't Knock the Rock
  • John McHale (RIP) on Tim Raines
  • More Bang For More Bucks
  • Raines kicks habit
  •  
    Statistics
     
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    This site is dedicated to the authors' favorite ballplayer of all time, Tim Raines. Spread the word of Raines' worthiness for induction into the Hall of Fame.

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    WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT TIM RAINES
    FROM AROUND THE WEB


    I won a batting title and hit .294 lifetime, and over the course of 23 years thatís 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. Thatís one thing about on-base percentage--it helps you to score runs. You canít steal first base.

    [The Hall of Fame] would be meaningful to me, Iíll 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 donít really understand what it takes to get there, or to stay there. Iím 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.
    — Tim Raines on Tim Raines

    Excerpted From Baseball Prospectus


    COMPARISONS TO RICKEY HENDERSON


    But being second to Rickey Henderson ... is no crime. Henderson is a first-ballot, no-question, inner-circle Hall of Famer. Raines isnít 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.
    — Joe Sheehan

    Excerpted From Baseball Prospectus


    But he seems to have surprisingly little traction with voters. Perhaps this is because Raines suffers by comparisons to Rickey Henderson, but this overlooks the fact that almost everyone suffers by comparisons to Rickey Henderson. Raines was a great on-base threat, one of the best base stealers of all-time and a durable, consistent force at the top of the lineup for more than two decades.
    — Dayn Perry

    Excerpted From FOX Sports


    He was one of the best leadoff hitters all-time, but he happened to be Rickey Henderson's contemporary, which overshadowed his accomplishments.
    — Ken Davidoff

    Excerpted From Newsday


    Raines was a great player. He's not going to be elected, mostly because he was overshadowed by Rickey Henderson and because one of his two key skills -- getting on base and scoring runs -- is undervalued by Hall of Fame voters.
    — Rob Neyer

    Excerpted From ESPN


    Tim Raines was not quite in Rickey Hendersonís class as a player, at least for as long as Henderson was at the top. Although the same can be said about every player of the Henderson/Raines mold...His hit totals seem low, but when you take into account his combination of getting on base, stealing bases, and scoring runs, the result is a lead-off man better than anyone ever save for Rickey Henderson. Tim Raines is very much a Hall of Famer, and deserves to be elected on the first ballot.
    — Eric

    Excerpted From FanIQ.com


    Ask anyone born after the 1960s who the best leadoff hitter is and they likely will answer Rickey Henderson. Raines is the answer when asked: "And who's next?" We don't consider Wade Boggs and his 24 career steals in 18 seasons, the prototypical leadoff hitter. Boggs collected 3,000 hits. He's in.
    — Bob Elliott

    Excerpted From Toronto Sun


    COMPARISONS TO TONY GWYNN


    He was better than Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, and Kirby Puckett. These three were elected their first time on the ballot this decade. "Rock" should join them.

    After a brush with cocaine early in his career ó which he handled with far greater strength and public honesty than any player has yet handled his steroid use, it should be noted ó he matured into a universally respected leader.
    — Tim Marchman

    Excerpted From NY Sun


    Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr. were easily elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame two weeks ago. It was open and shut for both. But here's the thing:


    — Neate Sager

    Excerpted From OutOfLeftField.com


    Yes, Tony Gwynn was a great player. But if you can find a dime's difference between Gwynn and Raines, you are stretching. Raines should be every bit as much the no-questions-asked Hall of Famer as Gwynn.
    — Dan McLaughlin

    Excerpted From Baseball Crank


    COMPARISONS TO LOU BROCK


    Before Henderson came along and revolutionized the leadoff position (power plus speed plus unflinching bat control and discipline equals dominance), consensus said the greatest top-of-the-order hitter was Lou Brock, the legendary Cardinals speedster. When Brock was eligible for enshrinement in 1985, there was little debate. He was elected with 79.75 percent of the vote -- and rightfully so. Brock was certainly Hall of Fame worthy.

    Raines was better than Brock.
    — Jeff Pearlman

    Excerpted From ESPN


    Now, you could (and I would) argue that Raines was a better player than Brock, a lot better, he had 43 more points in OBP (.385-.343), his slugging percentage was 27 points higher (.425-.398), his OPS+ was a lot better (123-109), and he also drove in more runs, scored almost as many and got on base more despite having almost 1,000 fewer plate appearances.

    Further, you could argue that Raines was a better base stealer. Brock had 938 steals ó 120 more than Raines ó but he was caught 161 times MORE than Raines. Thatís not even close. Like I said in another post, you could argue pretty convincingly that Raines was the best base stealer of all time.

    But letís not get too far away from the point. There may be many ways to show that Raines was a better player than Brock, but none of them will change two simple facts:

    1. Brock had 3,000 hits; Raines does not.
    2. Brock was the all-time stolen base leader when he was inducted. Raines is not.

    — Joe Posnanski

    Excerpted From Joe Posnanski


    EVALUATING HIS NUMBERS


    Rainesí 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; (b)...
    — Jay Jaffe

    Excerpted From Baseball Prospectus

    [Raines] ranks 10th among left-fielders and 87th overall, which doesn't sound impressive until you consider that the Hall contains just shy of 200 non-Negro League players...
    — Jay Jaffe

    Excerpted From Sports Illustrated


    By our list, he's a no-brainer Hall of Famer; the only player ranked higher than Raines rejected by the voters was Dick Allen, who carried a lot more baggage than Raines will. One thing to add about Raines: he was "clutchy." He batted .294 overall, but .303 with runners in scoring position (batters usually do worse with RISP because managers save their best pitchers in those situations) and .315 in "late and close" situations.
    — Dave Studeman

    Excerpted From Hardball Times


    Six holdovers have over 300 Win Shares, Mark McGwire with 342, Andre Dawson, 340, Bert Blyleven, 339, Dave Parker, 327, Alan Trammell 318 and Harold Baines with 307. The only newcomer on the list with over 300 Win Shares is Tim Raines with 390... The last 12 players elected by the Baseball Writers have averaged 354 Win Shares, a figure exceeded by only Raines on the ballot this year.
    — Bill Gilbert

    Excerpted From Scout.com


    Raines had a seven season peak that was quite dominant, something hall of fame voters like to see. The eight seasons that followed were also very solid, and allowed Raines to reach the impressive career numbers... His blend of dominance and longevity make him a solid hall of fame case.
    — Mike Darowski

    Excerpted From Rule V Baseball Blog


    From 1981-1987, he was neck and neck with Mike Schmidt for best ballplayer in the National League... Standing just 5'8, Tim Raines was one of the most complete ball players of all time. He ranks with Rickey Henderson as the best leadoff man in history. Tim Raines was a star with the bat, on the bases and in the field and deserves to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
    — Brian Joura

    Excerpted From Associated Content


    Time has revealed Raines' skill set to be a historically rare one; it's sobering to imagine how many runs he could score for a strong contemporary team hitting in smaller parks and an inflated offensive environment.

    The two contemporaries are probably the greatest leadoff men of all time; their combination of high on-base percentage and high stolen-base totals has unexpectedly disappeared from the game. Raines scored 100 runs six times, and did so in front of some mediocre offences. In 1983, he scored a league leading 133 runs with Bryan "Twig" Little hitting behind him most of the year -- a feat bordering on the eerie.

    In other words, it would be absurd to leave Raines out of the Hall.
    — Colby Cosh

    Excerpted From The National Post


    His mandate was to get on base any way possible. Patient as he was, Raines drew 1,330 bases on balls, scored 1,571 runs, stole 808 bags, batted an impressive .294, collected 2,605 hits and drove in 980 runs to go with a very credible .988 fielding percentage.
    — Danny Gallagher

    Excerpted From The National Post


    I think heís representative of a go-go era and ought to be the next Expo... to be in the Hall of Fame.
    — Jeff Blair

    Excerpted From Globe and Mail


    The most interesting player debuting on the ballot this year and the only one who warrants serious consideration... He drove in nearly a thousand runs, which is pretty good for a guy who was a leadoff hitter much of his career. But what really stands out is the run total. Raines scored 1,571 runs and only three eligible players who scored more are not in the Hall. I don't understand why the run total is so undervalued. It is the only statistic that matters in the outcome of a game yet all the glory goes to the batter who drove the runner the final 90 feet home rather than the man who got himself in scoring position in the first place.
    — Jim Caple

    Excerpted From ESPN


    Nobody in history is really similar to Tim Raines. Thatís a point in his favor.
    — Justin Zeth

    Excerpted From SportingGurus.com


    With Raines, I think, people underestimate his prime. We did not view him as a truly great player at his best. But that was a mistake. He was great. You can look at three brilliant seasons ó 1985-87 ó when he could have won the MVP. This is where perception crushes reality. He did not get a single first place MVP vote ANY of those years. If he had won the MVP all three of those years (as Bill James believes he should have, for instance), Raines would be a slam-dunk Hall of Famer and viewed in the mainstream as one of the greatest players ever. But the context of the time killed him.
    — Joe Posnanski

    Excerpted From Joe Posnanski


    Consider that Raines ranks fifth all-time in stolen bases with 806 thefts, and heís also got the highest stolen-base percentage of all-time, beating out the likes of Ricky Henderson and Ty Cobb. Throw in his nifty career on-base percentage of .385, his 2,605 hits (68th all-time), his 1,330 walks (33rd all-time), and his 1,571 runs scored (46th all-time), and itís clear that Raines has the kind of skill set that should have a great deal of appeal right now. Heís a guy that got on base often, stole lots of bases, stole them at a high rate of success, and scored oodles of runs. For the traditionalist mindsetóand that describes the healthy majority of the Baseball Writers Association of Americaóa player like Raines should be the exemplar of the way the game is supposed to be played. Voting for Raines would also be, on some level, a rebuke of the excesses of the power era.
    — Dayn Perry

    Excerpted From Chicago Sports Weekly