- Tim Burke
BBWAA Do Your Job; Vote Tiant and Evans into Cooperstown
Updated: Oct 3, 2019
Every time I go to Fenway Park they often celebrate a Red Sox legend with a video montage and a standing ovation. Fred Lynn, Carlton Fisk, Dwight Evans or Luis Tiant often are those Sox legends being honored. I never watched any of them play a single game but I know of their playing days as well as I do the current players. I know all their stats and accomplishments because baseball statistics fascinate me. One thing about baseball statistics they don’t lie and what they tell me is “El Tiante” and “Dewey” Evans belong in the Hall Of Fame.
Luis Tiant has a 66.0 career Wins Above Replacement, higher than Hall Of Fame pitchers Don Drysdale, Jim Bunning, Catfish Hunter and the great Juan Marichal.
Tiant have the second highest Wins Above Replacement of any pitcher not in the Hall Of Fame. He is also a winner of 229 games, has a 3.30 career ERA, over 2,000 strikeouts , two ERA titles and three All Star selections to go with that. “El Tiante” was one of the best pitchers of his era but the BBWAA refuses to recognize him.
Dwight Evans is one of the most underrated players of all time. Did you know Dwight Evans was the Major League leader in home runs and total bases throughout the 1980s? Why doesn’t this guy have a plaque in Cooperstown. “Dewey” hit 385 home runs, won 2 silver sluggers while collecting 8 gold glove awards eight gold gloves and two Silver Slugger awards in his career. He is often forgotten about since he was overshadowed by fellow Red Sox outfielder and Hall Of Famer Jim Rice. For fans of the numbers Evans has more runs scored, doubles, walks, a higher On Base Percentage and a significantly higher Wins Above Replacement than Jim Rice.The hope for a Hall Of Fame player in terms of Wins Above replacement is between 50-70 and Evans falls in at a 67.1 Wins Above Replacement where Jim Rice is at 47.7 Wins Above Replacement. Evans is well in range to be inducted in the Hall in terms of Wins Above Replacement a stat we heavily use to measure players today. Now for the big stinger. Did a shortened 1981 season cost Evans the Cooperstown recognition he deserves? He led the AL in home runs and OBP in 1981 but ultimately lost the AL MVP race to A's closer, Rollie Fingers. WHAT? If “Dewey” hit 15 more home runs in those 54 games the MLB did not play he would have reached 400 home runs in his career, a huge milestone and accomplishment and potentially would have won an MVP award. Things writers like to see on the ballot that are not as important as they think. Evans deserves to be Cooperstown without a doubt in my mind.
Evans and Tiant both were not inducted to the Hall Of Fame after retirement and the Modern Era ballot chooses to ignore them. The Modern Era ballot is designed to give players a second chance and elect who they failed to recognize in prior years. The Modern Era ballot clearly is not effective as they have repeatedly passed on giving Tiant and Evans a Hall Of Fame induction. The Hall Of Fame voting is seriously flawed system that needs to change or get their act together. Forget about debating whether steroid users Clemens or Bonds deserve the Hall Of Fame. Focus on the more important issue, fixing the past mistakes and induct two legends who clearly deserve to be immortalized in Cooperstown.