On November 4, 2013, the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame announced 12 candidates on a special ballot to enter the Hall of Fame. The ballot, named the Expansion Era Ballot, will feature the names of players “whose greatest contributions to the game were realized from 1973 through the present.” Sixteen voters, including some Hall-of-Famers, will decide who gets in. The committee will announce their results on December 9.
One Boston Red Sox player who should appear on the ballot but does not is former right fielder Dwight Evans. Having played 19 of his 20 seasons in Boston, Evans deserves to appear on this ballot. In fact, MLB Network’s Brian Kenny stated on his November 4 edition of Clubhouse Confidential that Evans should already be in the Hall of Fame. A look at Evans’s career should make some believers out of all who view it.
Evans played from 1972 to 1991, and in only 1991 did he play outside of Boston (Baltimore Orioles). Evans had career totals of .272/.370/.470, 385 HR, 1384 RBI. His career OPS was .870. For those who like advanced statistics, Evans had a career WAR of 66.7, an average of 3.35, and that includes his rookie, sophomore, and final two declining years. From 1974-1989, that average WAR was 4.0. He also hit .300 with 3 HR in two World Series (1975, 1986). Evans won eight A.L. Gold Glove awards.
While I cannot argue with anyone on the list, I can compare Evans to the two on the list who come the closest to Evans’s production. Steve Garvey hit .294 with 272 HR, and 1308 RBI in 19 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. Dave Parker, AKA “The Cobra,” hit .290, 339 HR, 1439 RBI in 19 years with mostly the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds. They deserve consideration, but Evans deserves it just as much, and he should appear on the special ballot with them.
Here are the names on the Expansion Era Ballot, via baseballhall.org.
Tony La Russa
Unless the rules said that only twelve names can appear, I cannot understand why Dwight Evans was left off.