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Title - Rob Soria
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Could 2017 be the year Tim Raines goes into Cooperstown?
By Rob Soria
OurHometown.ca

Could 2017 be the year Tim Raines goes into Cooperstown?
When it comes to Tim Raines and the Baseball Hall of Fame, the last 7 years have been very interesting to watch unfold. After debuting on the ballot in 2008 with just 24.3% of the vote, the Montreal Expos legend managed to work his way up to 52.2% in 2013. However, 2014 looked to be another matter altogether and with Wednesday’s announcement of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas as the newest inductions into Cooperstown that fear became a reality.
PHOTO CREDIT - AssociatedPress.org

Edmonton - January 8, 2014 - When it comes to Tim Raines and the Baseball Hall of Fame, the last seven years have been very interesting to watch unfold.

After debuting on the ballot in 2008 with just 24.3% of the vote, the Montreal Expos legend managed to work his way up to 52.2% in 2013.

However, 2014 looked to be another matter altogether and with Wednesday’s announcement of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas as the newest inductions into Cooperstown that fear became a reality.

Like the vast majority of retuning names on the ballot, the former National League batting champ saw his number take a nose dive…all the way back to 46.1%.

To complicate matters even further, former Houston Astros great Craig Biggio fell painstakingly short of earning induction with 74.8% of the vote, creating an even larger back log in 2015. With the trio of Randy Johnson Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz all making their debut next season, one can only hope all three and Biggio are granted entrance into the Hall come next January.

If not, the likelihood of Raines, Jeff Bagwell or Mike Piazza gaining enough traction to earn a plaque anytime soon, could be next to impossible. When it comes to the five-time NL stolen base king, next year will be very important. He is now entering the midway point of his candidacy and falling back below the 50% mark can’t be a good thing

Like most, I expected Raines to take a bit of a hit in this year’s vote but not a full six per cent dip. He not only lost support from those who voted for Glavine, Maddux and Thomas but obviously to other first timers Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina. While Jack Morris falling off the ballot will help current holdovers, the names of Ken Griffey Jr, Vladimir Guerrero and Ivan Rodriguez will also be thrown into the mix come 2016 and 2017.

The Baseball Writers Association of America checked off an average of 8.3 names on their ballot this year and you would be hard pressed to think that number will be going up anytime soon. With that being the case, how much longer could Raines have to wait?

One would think the quartet of Biggio, Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz go in next season, with Griffey and probably Mike Piazza earning entrance in 2016. That would leave Bagwell and Raines as the top two holdovers heading into 2017. That would be year number ten on the ballot for Tim Raines.

One would think making a guy wait a decade to get into Cooperstown would be long enough…especially when that player was arguably the second best leadoff man to ever grace a baseball diamond and one of the better players of his generation. Let’s hope that wait finally comes to an end no later than 2017 because the longer this goes on, the more laughable it becomes.

MLB: Raines awaits his call from the Hall


Follow Me on TwitterRob Soria is the Edmonton Oilers' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rob was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Oilers blog - OilDrop.ca. He has been a dedicated follower of the game and its history for years but his focus remains on his hometown Edmonton Oilers. If you have questions or wish to contact Rob, you can email him at rsoria@ourhometown.ca






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