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Hall of Fame Poll: Tim Raines

Would you vote Tim Raines into the Baseball Hall of Fame? fast his feet didn't touch the ground. fast his feet didn't touch the ground.
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

It is Tim Raines 8th time on the Hall of Fame ballot, so 7 times the BBWAA have gotten it wrong. Last year, he hit a new high,  he was on 55.0% of the ballots.

Raines is one of my all-time favorite players. He was the second best lead off hitter of his era, likely the second best lead off hitter of all-time. Unfortunately, he played at the same time as Ricky Henderson.

Tim played for 23 seasons, the first 13 were with the Expos. He played 2502 games, scored 1571 runs., had 2605 hits, 808 stolen bases (with just 146 times caught) and a .294/.385/.425 line. He scored over 100 runs in 6 seasons and led the league in stolen bases 4 times. Tim was second in ROY voting in 1981, made 7 All-Star teams and had 1 Silver Slugger.

He is 51st career in runs scored, 35th in walks and 5th in stolen bases. But, maybe you had to watch him play to see just how good he was. He was one of those guys that could change a game just by getting to first.

I think Raines taught me more about baseball than any other player. Get on base. That's most important. Steal when it helps your team. And have fun. He also taught me the negative end of baseball, the Expos moved him to CF and he played well there, but the team didn't win, so they focused on his weak arm, like that cost them a lot of games. Bad teams focus on the wrong stuff.

I hope that, someday, he will be the 3rd player to go into the Hall of Fame wearing a Expos cap. One of the reasons writers give for leaving him off the ballot is that he used cocaine early in his career. Cocaine, of course, wasn't a performance enhancing drug. It was, for a bit , the drug of choice for folks that could afford it. Of course, they voted Paul Molitor into the Hall.

Raines has been a minor league base running and outfield coach for the Jays the last couple of years.  I wouldn't mind seeing him get a job on the major league coaching staff.