Dawson in the HOF. Gwynn in too. Where’s Raines?

Ryne Sandberg said the following at his Hall of Fame induction speech on July 31, 2005: 

“Andre Dawson, The Hawk. No player in baseball history worked harder, suffered more or did it better than Andre Dawson. He’s the best I’ve ever seen. Stand up Hawk. The Hawk. I watched him win MVP for a last-place team in 1987 and it was the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen in baseball. He did it the right way, the natural way and he did it in the field and on the bases and in every way, and I hope he will stand up here someday.”

I hope that Dawson issues a similar tribute to his former teammate, Tim Raines, at The Hawk’s induction today. Raines was a superior offensive force to Dawson (higher OPS and 500 more stolen bases), and Raines was at least as good an offensive weapon as Lou Brock, Tony Gwynn and other HOF table setters.

Consider:

Raines reached base more times in his career than Tony Gwynn and Lou Brock. 

Raines had more triples, more home runs, and 500 more stolen bases than Gwynn.

Henderson and Brock are the only two players in the last 100 years to steal more bases than Raines, but both of them got caught stealing more than twice as often as Raines.  Henderson led the league in caught-stealing 5 times, and Lou Brock 7 times. Raines NEVER led the league in times caught stealing.

Raines is one of the greatest offensive threats ever, and deserves enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.

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