BBHOF Profile: Tim Raines

tim-raines-2016-hall-of-fame-ballotIt is possibly the biggest criticism of baseball, they are always stuck in their old ways and unwilling to change and adjust.

They may not be exactly that dramatic but they are slow to change their ways and when it comes to the writers the same can be said.

The Baseball Writers Association of America is a mix of different writers who cover the game throughout the league.

They all get to vote on who should be allowed to make the hall of fame every year and often they are a picky group.

Every writer has his or her own bias attached with the game but more often than not those players that need to be in the Hall of Fame make it within their first few years.

There are those players that seem to be on the bad side of just enough writers that they never seem to quite make it where some think they should.

Every year there are a handful of players that people look at on the ballot and wonder why they aren’t already among the best to ever play the game.

More often than not though the voters simply have their memories and the basic stats to determine whether or not they belong in Cooperstown.

When comparing two players side by side it can be seen as an easy decision as the stats will determine who is better.

That has been the case for so long but recently the slow moving baseball world has begun to embrace a new era.

Sabermetrics was forever an outsider view of the sport that only teams that couldn’t compete with the best of the best had to

These teams needed to find good players for less money and so they needed something to get there.

Not all teams adopted it and a lot of the baseball media was resistant to using something new after using the same stats for so long.

These new stats were not as easy to translate for many who have spent decades using batting average, RBIs, and HRs to determine just how good someone is in the league.

Now there were stats like WAR and BABIP that provided more depth to a player and went further in determining not just how good a player is but how important they are to their team.

When it came to Hall of Famers things got only more interesting as players had been waiting years to get in due to pedestrian stats that never put them over the top.

Then the sabermetricians started taking a look and translated the stats to past eras revealing just how important players were to their teams.

These stats took some time for the BBWAA to accept especially when it came to players from way back.

All of a sudden players started looking much better in the light of sabermetrics and for many of the fans that subscribed to those new metrics, there were more players that belonged in the Hall of Fame.

One of the first of those players will enter the Hall of Fame this year after waiting nine years and coming within one more vote of missing the Hall of Fame forever.

Tim Raines was a great player and one of the most important figures in the Montreal Expos franchise.


The fans loved him and there was no doubt that he was among the best to ever play on the team.

When it came to his Hall of Fame candidacy though things looked a little rougher though as his stats never really made anyone perk up.

He never reached the common hitting goals that most batters need to make the Hall of Fame and despite great base stealing numbers, he was up against the best to ever do it in Rickey Henderson who played at the same time.

That made things tough as his stats were just not that comparable and despite the idea that he was an important figure in the era, he was more on the fence than anything else.

Sabermetrics told otherwise though as the stats that now determine more of the value of a player for a team began to show that he was more valuable than his basic stats suggest.

Although driving in runs was not his thing he always seemed to be on base for the others to drive him in.

With more sophisticated stats this could be seen better than ever as Raines turns out to be one of the top run producers ever without actually hitting runs in.

Simply by getting on base and doing work on the base paths, Tim Raines became a player that sabermetricians called for the Hall of Fame.

As a result of that new wave of thinking the BBWAA began to listen and adjust their evaluation and just in time too.

Raines has been a bit of a mission for the sabermetricians in the MLB and in 2017 they will see that mission complete.

One of the most important figures in Montreal Expos history and one of the best leadoff hitters ever will make his way into the Hall in the Class of 2017.


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