December 4, 2016


Tim Raines is a Hall of Famer, and the numbers couldn't be more convincing (Ryan Spaeder,  Nov. 30, 2016, Sporting News)

Raines may have never played for the numbers, but he still managed to amass huge ones:

-- He's the only player in baseball history with more than two seasons with at least 50 extra-base hits and 70 stolen bases; he had four, from 1983 to 1986.

-- He's the only player, among seven, with at least 600 extra-base hits and 700 stolen bases not in the Hall of Fame.

-- He's the only player in baseball history with at least 100 triples, 150 home runs and 600 stolen bases. He amassed 113 triples, 170 home runs, and 808 stolen bases.

-- Sixteen of the first 18 players to accumulate at least 2,600 hits and 1,300 walks were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Raines and Pete Rose, who is banned from baseball for life, are the odd men out.

Raines was a career .294/.385/.425 (123 OPS+) hitter. He reached base safely 3,977 times and tallied 69.1 WAR, averaging 4.55 WAR per 162 games played.

Lou Brock had a career .293 batting average. Willie Mays had a career .384 on-base percentage. Rickey Henderson had a career .422 slugging percentage. Ernie Banks had a career 122 OPS+. Tony Gwynn reached base safely 3,955 times and tallied 68.8 career WAR. Derek Jeter averaged 4.23 WAR per 162 games played.

Still not convinced? Raines is the only player in baseball history with consecutive seasons with at least 30 doubles and 70 stolen bases. He had five in a row, from 1982 to 1986. Before 1982, the last player with such a season was Ty Cobb in 1915. When Raines failed to reach that level for a sixth straight season, stealing just 50 bases in 1987, he batted .330/.429/.526. That made him the first player to bat at least .325/.425/.525 with at least 50 stolen bases since George Sisler in 1922, his MVP season. In fact, Sisler, Raines and Henderson -- who did it in 1990, when he won the AL MVP -- are the only players with such a season during the live ball era.

Raines had five seasons with at least 70 walks and 70 stolen bases. Hall of Famers "Sliding" Billy Hamilton (six) and Henderson (seven) are the only players with more. No other player has more than two. Ty Cobb had just one.

Three players in history have hit at least 10 home runs and stolen at least 90 bases in a season: Harry Stovey (1890), Henderson (1982) and Raines (1983). Henderson and Raines had sneaky power, and Henderson is hailed for his record 81 career leadoff home runs.

Posted by at December 4, 2016 6:02 PM


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