Former Expo Tim Raines falls short in 2015 Hall of Fame voting


Mar 28, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Gary Carter’s wife and daughter embrace next to former Expos Steve rogers and Warren Cromartie and Tim Raines during a tribute to him prior to the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Mets at the Olympic Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday was a great day for fans of the Montreal Expos franchise, as former Expo Pedro Martinez was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first time on the ballot. Unfortunately, fellow Expos legend Tim Raines fell short in his eighth ballot appearance.

In order to be elected, players must receive 75 percent of the vote from eligible Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) members. Martinez, Randy Johnson, Craig Biggio and John Smoltz were all elected and will be inducted into the Hall later this year.

Last year, Raines came away with 46.1 percent of the vote. The former outfielder improved this year, but still fell short of baseball immortality with 55 percent of the vote.

During his 23-year career, Raines was a seven-time All-Star and is considered one of the best leadoff hitters and baserunners in baseball history.

While the speedy outfielder also spent time with the White Sox, Yankees, Athletics, Marlins and Orioles, most of his damage came as a member of the Expos. During his 13-year tenure with Montreal, he hit .301 with 1,622 hits and 635 stolen bases. Raines also had an OBP of .391 during that time and scored 947 runs.

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The switch-hitting outfielder finished his illustrious career batting .294 with 808 stolen bases (fifth all-time), 2,605 hits and 1,571 runs. Raines is also a three-time World Series champion, earning his rings with the Yankees in 1996 and 1998, and with the White Sox in 2005.

Needless to say, Raines certainly has some Hall of Fame-caliber numbers. But time is not on Raines’s side as the former outfielder only has two more years on the ballot, since the BBWAA only allows players to be on the ballot for a maximum of 10 years.

However, there is some cause for optimism for Raines’s Hall candidacy. Not only did more than half of voters deem him eligible to join the Hall of Fame this year, but his vote total reached an all-time high and last year’s drop proved to be a fluke. Here are Raines’s percentages throughout his eight years on the ballot:

2008 – 24.3 percent
2009 – 22.6 percent
2010 – 30.4 percent
2011 – 37.5 percent
2012 – 48.7 percent
2013 – 52.2 percent
2014 – 46.1 percent
2015 – 55.0 percent

While it will still be difficult for Raines to jump 20 percentage points in two years, this year’s results are certainly encouraging.

Although Raines, 55, was not elected by the BBWAA, he was elected to the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) Hall of Fame with 79.3 percent of the vote. The IBWAA elected five players, with Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz and Jeff Bagwell joining Raines in this year’s IBWAA Hall of Fame class.