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Comment of the Day: Yes, Tim Raines is a Hall-of-Famer edition

Dec 16, 2010, 5:57 PM EDT

Tim Raines

In response to my inclusion of Tim Raines on my imaginary Hall of Fame ballot:

does anyone realize that apart from his 5 really good years of 1983-1987, tim raines looks a lot more like marquis grissom than he does rickey henderson??  5 seasons does not make a hall of fame career.

This is why we can’t have nice things, people.  I was about to go nuts on this myself — I mean, you can’t just take a guy’s peak years away and call his Hall of Fame case a sham — but I decided instead to let Raines-Backer-in-Chief Jonah Keri handle it. His way-more-polite-than-I-would-have-been response:

Tim Raines was, according to Bill James, the best player in MLB from 1983 through 1987 … Also, check out if you want to learn more about the player with more times on base in his career than Tony Gwynn, a higher OBP than Willie Mays, the 5th-most SB of all-time and the highest success rate of any basestealer with anywhere near that many attempts.

Do check out  And make sure that, in the event you correspond with Hall of Fame voters, they are aware of it too.  And while you’re at it, listen to Jonah’s podcast with Tim Raines himself from just the other day. This is not a hard case. This is not a close case. Tim Raines is a clearly deserving Hall of Fame candidate.  It has to happen.

  1. paperlions - Dec 16, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    does anyone realize that apart from his 5 best years, Derek Jeter looks a lot more like Edgar Renteria than he does Cal Ripken?? 5 seasons does not make a hall of fame career.
    True and equally stupid.

  2. crotchjenkins - Dec 16, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    What happens if you take away Koufax’s five best seasons?

    • jhu1997 - Dec 17, 2010 at 3:15 AM

      You get Doug Davis.

  3. mrfloydpink - Dec 16, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    Does anyone realize that apart from his five best years, Joe Morgan looks a lot more like Steve Sax than he does Eddie Collins?

  4. mrfloydpink - Dec 16, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    Does anyone realize that if you take away Greg Maddux’s five best seasons, he’s a 0-time Cy Young Award winner who only finished in the voting for the award three times, made it to only four All-Star games, and won only 260 games?

  5. solidzac - Dec 16, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    Does anyone realize that if you take away Craig’s five best posts…well, he’d be basically the same, actually.

  6. Mark Armour - Dec 16, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    A few years ago I figured Raines had no shot, despite his slam dunk credentials. But Blyleven is going to get in largely because of the rabid enthusiasm of people on the Internet. I hope very much that Raines’s cause is taken up once Blyleven gets in.

  7. alfoglen - Dec 16, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    I hope those rabidly enthusiastic people on the Internet support both Blyleven and Raines. Take away Blyleven’s five best seasons and you have about 20 years of Hall of Fame-caliber pitching. They are both deserving. It’s shameful that the voters have to be driven like sheep to do the right thing.

  8. ta192 - Dec 16, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    Don’t get me wrong, if I had a ballot, Blyleven and Raines are both there without a second thought, but I do believe that starting soon if not now, the reluctance of some voters to consider certain supposedly steroid tainted athletes is going to open a window of opportunity for some slightly less qualified people to make the Hall…

  9. rockycolavito - Dec 17, 2010 at 1:31 AM

    Wow look at all firestorm one little comment caused. You’re right, I guess we can’t have nice things especially since apart from those 5 years, Raines toiled in the big leagues another 18 years and was only slightly more valuable than Grissom. Kenny Lofton, on the other hand, had a higher WAR than Raines over his entire career. As far as our educated commentators, you can say what you will about Jeter, he’ll always be a Yankee so that outshines all other stat categories while Koufax, without his 5 best seasons, only pitched for seven years due to injury. Along those same lines, other players who had their careers derailed by injury after having 5+seasons of dominance, such as Mattingly or Albert Belle, are no where close to being inducted. The point is, you can’t have your Raines and leave out your Kenny Lofton, your Dwight Evans, your Don Mattingly, your Dave Parker, and your Dale Murphy too.

    • paperlions - Dec 17, 2010 at 9:36 AM

      Do the real examples of removing 5 great years from people’s careers not show you how ignorant and foolish the comment was?
      And yes, 5 GREAT years is exactly what separates a HOF player from a good player.

    • ralphdibny - Dec 17, 2010 at 12:33 PM

      You know, this comment isn’t as dumb as everyone is making it out to be. Basically, you are saying that it is unfair that if Player A has 5 dominant seasons, then 15 league average seasons, he’ll make the HOF, but Player B who has 5 dominant seasons then blows out his knee and never plays again won’t, even if at his best he was just as good, if not better, than Player A. In other words, HOF admissions should be for those who perform at the highest level, no matter how long that performance lasts. Personally, I think your argument fits other sports better than it fits baseball. If you set the world record in the long jump, it doesn’t really matter if you never come close to that distance ever again. But baseball is about consistency over the long haul as much as it is about peaks of excellence

  10. vikesfansteve - Dec 17, 2010 at 7:11 AM

    Raines used to say he slid head first to not break the coke vile in his back pocket. Is that HOF worthy?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 17, 2010 at 7:34 AM

      Dave Parker did cocaine. So did Keith Hernandez. Dennis Eckersley used to have clubhouse kids buy and deliver his drugs for him. Mickey Mantle was an alcoholic.

      What’s your point?

      • rockycolavito - Dec 17, 2010 at 9:13 AM

        who cares about coke, thats really not an issue for me at all. I understand one cannot take out his best 5 years, that when he was one of the best players in the game. But one also must recognize that for the other 18 years he played he was slightly better than marquis grissom while kenny lofton was a much better player. A voter must have consistency. Raines had 5 great years, as did many other players. So, if that’s truly the mark of a hall of famer, then great, i’ll accept that. But other players equally or more deserving, with also at least 5 great years, should be let in as well.

  11. Mark Armour - Dec 17, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    Is there another player in history who was the best player in his league over a five year period but is not in the Hall of Fame? No, of course not. Five years of great and 18 years of good is an inner circle Hall of Fame career.

    • rockycolavito - Dec 17, 2010 at 3:19 PM

      inner cirlce? lol, well check out will clark, al belle, don mattingly…those guys crushed for five year spans, also dale murphy, dwight evans, dave parker who all had better careers than andre dawson and raines……i love the inner hall comment, i guess Rock goes right next to hank aaron and mickey mantle then.

  12. rockycolavito - Dec 17, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    and save a space next to mantle and rock for lofton, cuz he’s every bit the ball player raines was and definitely more valuable.

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