A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 77 Tim Raines (Number 7 Left Field)

Tim Raines burst on the scene in 1981 at the age of 21. He stole 71 bases in 88 games. Writers were projecting him not Rickey Henderson would break Lou Brock’s record. I know baseball reference has Hugh Nicol the all-time record holder for a single season of stolen bases. However, they counted stolen bases differently in 1887. Also, I noticed that 3 of the top 5 seasons of all time come from one-year 1887. That should give everyone a clue that the stolen bases in the 19th Century is like comparing apples to oranges.

I think the writers were upset that Raines never even stole 100 bases in a season. When Raines had his problems with cocaine, they were certainly hard on him. However, Raines ended up 5th all-time in stolen bases with a great stolen base percentage.

Raines won a batting title and on base percentage title in 1986. He was on base 274 times. He had 54 extra base hits and stole 70 bases in 79 times, but didn’t score 100 runs, ending with 91 runs. The next year he got on base 269 times and scored 123 runs to lead the league. There is a difference of 32 runs. Raines hit 9 more home runs so let’s call the difference 23 runs. He stole 20 less bases but was caught 4 less times. The 4 more caught stealing makes his times on base in 1987 one less than 1986, but he ends up on second base 20 times less. He also hit one less double and two less triples in 1988 than 1987. So, the difference in runs scored comes down to what his teammates did behind him. It shows, baseball is not a one man show.

In 1993 at the age of 33 Raines stolen bases went from 45 to 21. He never stole as many as 20 again. Part of the reason was he became a platoon player when joining the Yankees. He helped then win two World Series.

Raines spent 2000 fighting cancer. He made an unexpected comeback in 2001. Late that year he went to the Orioles and was able to play 4 game with his son.

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Author: Douglas Byzewski

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