In his final year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot, Tim Raines finally got the long awaited call telling him that he’d been voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, along with Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez. Raines joined The Jim Rome Show on Monday and shared his feelings over his Cooperstown enshrinement.
“I’ve been waiting for 10 years. It’s been a long, grueling 10 years, but when I got the phone call last Wednesday, I forgot all about that,” Raines said. “I mean, it was what playing the game was all about as well as win world championships. I was able to do that and then finally the final chapter is being inducted. I’m still on cloud nine.”
When asked if he would have been alright if he hadn’t been voted in or would he feel robbed, Raines said maybe a little of both.
“I felt maybe I would have been robbed, but I played 23 years, I enjoyed every minute of it, I had an opportunity to play in the big leagues that long, and I felt like I had a great career, two world championships. So I would have been able to live with it either way, but thank God that didn’t happen,” Raines said laughing.
Raines made a name for himself as a lead-off hitter with a high on-base percentage and was always considered a threat to steal a base. Today’s game is considered to be much different for lead-off hitters. They tend to shy away from the small ball Raines excelled in. The seven-time All-Star said he misses his era of play, but believes it will come back again.
“I mean, to me, that was exciting, an exciting time and it went for a decade, and I think nowadays the long ball is more what a lot of organizations are looking for,” Raines said. “But I think eventually it’s going to come back around. I think now that you have pitchers throwing over 100 miles an hour, chances of guys swinging and missing a lot is a lot more prevalent, so I think in order to be able to score runs in situations with pitchers like that, trying to get someone on maybe bunt them over, a guy steals a base and you don’t have to score runs by getting hits. So I think eventually, it’s going to come around if we continue to get these guys throwing 90 plus and up to 100 miles an hour. I’m sure they’re going to have to start trying to figure it.”