Friday, December 31, 2010

Tim Raines should be in the Hall of Fame.

Many great baseball writers have extolled the statistical virtues of Tim Raines, and I really have nothing new to add along those lines. I can say that I watched a ton of games with Tim Raines playing, both as an Expo and a White Sox, and if he doesn't get into the HOF there's something wrong with the voters.

Living in Canada, TSN (The Sports Network) broadcast a lot of Expos games. Jim Van Horne and Ken Singleton were the main crew that I remember, although I do recall Duke Snider doing some Expos games on the CBC. I really enjoyed Jim and Ken, they were an excellent broadcast team that added a lot to the games.

The Expos in the Buck Rodgers era were a team of almosts. Good teams that were missing one or two pieces that might have taken them into the playoffs. But, they were fun to watch. Aside from Raines there was Andre Dawson (until 1986), Tim Wallach, Mitch Webster, Hubie Brooks, Andres Galaragga, Dennis Martinez, Pascual Perez, Floyd Youmans, Tim Burke...the list goes on.

I well remember the 1987 season. Raines had gone unsigned as a free agent due to collusion, Dawson had signed with the Cubs, and it seemed like the Expos were doomed to a bad season when they lost their first 5 in a row.  But all was not lost. Raines wasn't allowed to resign with the Expos until May 1st, and on May 2nd he made his season debut by going 4 for 5 with 3 runs, 4 RBI, 1 walk, a double, a steal, and a game winning Grand Slam in the top of the 10th inning against the defending champion New York Mets. And for good measure, Gary Carter struck out in the bottom of the 10th for the 3rd out.

That win improved their record to 9-13, and they would go on to win 91 games and finish only 4 games behind the Cardinals in 3rd place. It was a fun season.

Later on, when Raines had moved on to the Sox, I sent a couple of cards his way and asked for him to sign them. Here they are.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, Rock should be in the Hall. If he'd been a Met his whole career instead of an Expo he'd have been a 1st ballot inductee.