The Hall of Fame has inducted many players who were borderline choices, and many players who deserve induction have been on the outside looking in. I want to look at some players to determine if they deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
When I first started getting into baseball, Dwight Evans seemed to me like a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. Of course this was the early 1990's, before the huge offensive explosion that made many great players from the 1980's look quaint. I still believe Dewey belongs in the Hall.
Dwight Evans played for a long time for the Red Sox. He came up in 1972 and stayed with the team through 1990. Then, he spent one year with the Baltimore Orioles. He never quite looked right in that uniform though. Evans played in 2,606 games in all, including 2,505 with the Red Sox. That is number two all time for the Red Sox.
Evans hit .272/.370/.470/.840 for his career. Very good numbers. He also drew a lot of value from his ability to take a walk, which was an underrated skill for the time that he played. He lead the league in walks three times. He also lead the league in runs once and home runs once. Evans hit 385 home runs in his career and drove in 1,384 runs. His numbers would have been even better though, if he had not developed into such a great hitter so late in his career.
Evans was a fantastic defensive right-fielder, one of the best ever. He won a Gold Glove eight times, and deserved them. He made several sparkling defensive plays over the course of his career and had a rocket for an arm. He was also a three time All Star and won two Silver Sluggers.
Dwight Evans for his career was worth 61.8 WAR. That is higher than many Hall of Famers, including Harmon Killebrew, Dave Winfield, Richie Ashburn, Willie Stargell, Billy Williams, Andre Dawson, Hank Greenberg, Enos Slaughter, longtime teammate Jim Rice, and many more.
Evans received precious little support for his Hall of Fame candidacy, mostly due to the era he played in. He was off the ballot entirely after three years. Hopefully he can still make it in through the Veteran's Committee, because Dewey deserves it.
He should be in. And now.