84.7 percentage), and hit into just 142 double plays, an absurdly low number for a guy who appeared in more than 2.500 games. And he put up these numbers playing his prime years in a lower-scoring era, the NL of the 1980s. In 1984, Andre Dawson batted .248 with 17 homers -- but drove in 86 runs. Tim Wallach hit .246 with 18 homers -- but drove in 72 runs. Look at the RBI totals of the guys batting behind Raines, and you can see a spectacular leadoff man at work.

I'll take him over Dave Concepcion or Willie McGee any day.

Posted by: Crank at September 2, 2003 03:37 PM

This discussion thread will disappear any day now, but it would be a fun exercise to have everyone list their prospective list of deserving, qualified Hall of Famers, by position.... Is Raines better than any other left-fielder?

Posted by: Matt Welch at September 2, 2003 04:12 PM

"This discussion thread will disappear any day now, but it would be a fun exercise to have everyone list their prospective list of deserving, qualified Hall of Famers, by position.... Is Raines better than any other left-fielder?"

Well, obviously Bonds and Henderson have him beat by a mile--and will be first ballot guys when their time comes.. Of the five other left fielders that Bill James has rated above Raines, only Joe Jackson isn't in already, and we all know why that is. He rates the following players 9-20:

*Willie Stargell
Minnie Minoso
*Billy Williams
*Ed Delahanty (played from 1888-1903)
*Joe Medwick
*Jesse Burkett (played from 1890-1905)
*Lou Brock
*Goose Goslin
Charlie Keller
*Ralph Kiner
Frank Howard
Albert Belle

(*) Hall of Famer

That's a pretty damned good collection of ballplayers, but given a choice I'd take Raines over any of them assuming I could have one of them for their entire career, unless I could get Minoso from age twenty on (which would give him about ten more seasons than he actually played in the Show, thanks to the color line).

Posted by: M. Scott Eiland at September 2, 2003 08:55 PM
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