A few White Sox-intensive nuggets on the career of Tim Raines, who was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
*Closing number: Talk about finishing with a flurry!
Appearing on the Baseball Writers Association of America Hall of Fame ballot for the final time, Raines garnered a whopping 86 percent of the vote to gain induction,
Prior to this year, Raines had just barely approached the necessary 75 percent to get into the Hall.
In 2016, Raines was listed on 69.8 percent of the ballots. Prior to that, he had been above 50 percent just twice and under 50 percent as recently as 2014.
This whole journey began in 2008 when Raines was named on just 24.3 percent of the ballots. His worse showing was in 2009 when he got 22.6 percent of the vote.
*Big number: Only five players with Sox ties posted a better percentage in getting into the Hall than Raines.
And one of those players is NOT Frank Thomas!
Sox alumni besting Raines’ 86 percent were Roberto Alomar (90), Steve Carlton (95.6), Ken Griffey Jr. (99.3), Tom Seaver (98.8) and Ted Lyons (86.5).
In 2014, Thomas – in his first year on the ballot – netted 83.7 percent of the vote to earn a spot in Cooperstown.
Familiar number: Raines is the 30th player to wear a Sox uniform to make the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Fittingly, Raines wore No. 30 when played for the Sox from 1991 to 1995.
Counting managers, coaches and general managers, Raines is the 39th man affiliated with the Sox to go into the Hall.
In addition, Raines is the 14th player with Sox ties to be voted in by the writers. The other Sox inductees have been voted in by the Veterans/Old-Timers Committee or via a run-off election.
*Goin’ deep: The only Hall of Famers who hit more homers with the Sox than Raines’ 50 are Frank Thomas (447) and Carlton Fisk (214).
*Rankings: Among Sox players in the Hall, Raines ranks 12th in games played with the club (648), ninth in at bats (2,461), runs (440), hits (697) and on-base percentage (.344), 10th in doubles (98), eighth in triples (28), 11th in RBIs (277), sixth in steals (143) and eighth in walks (359).
*Both ways! Raines is just the Sox sixth switch-hitter to enter Cooperstown.
He joins Alomar (2010), “Gorgeous” George Davis (1998), Red Faber (1964), Lyons (1955) and Early Wynn (1972) as Sox switch-hitters in Cooperstown.
*Merry Christmas Eve! Raines was acquired from the Montreal Expos for outfielder Ivan Calderon and reliever Barry Jones on Dec. 24, 1990 in one of the few transactions ever executed by the club on Christmas Eve.
While Raines was considered one of the most dangerous players in the game, the price the Sox paid to get him was steep.
Calderon was coming off his most complete offensive season and Jones was arguably the best setup man in the game.
In helping the White Sox to a surprising 94 wins and a second-place finish in 1990, Calderon hit .273 with 14 home runs, 74 RBIs, 32 steals and a team-record tying 44 doubles. Jones went 11-4 with a 2.31 ERA as the lead-in to Bobby Thigpen, who logged a big-league record (since broken) 57 saves.
*Rock: Raines was known as “Rock” Raines in his early days with the White Sox. After a slow start with the Sox, the “Rock” reference was dropped.
*Speaking of the slow start …: Raines began his White Sox career by hitting .106 in his first 11 games. He rebounded by hitting .281 the rest of the season.
*Historic start: Raines was the White Sox first regular season and postseason batter at New Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field/Guaranteed Rate Field.
On April 18, 1991, Raines was called out on strikes by longtime Sox killer Frank Tanana leading off the Sox first in the inaugural game at New Comiskey Park.
In Game 1 of the 1993 American League Championship Series, Raines grounded out against the Blue Jays’ Juan Guzman to leadoff the first in the postseason curtain-raiser at New Comiskey Park.
*The old place: Raines made one appearance at the original Comiskey Park.
As the National League’s starting left fielder, Raines was 0-for-3 batting second between leadoff man Steve Sax and Expos teammate Andre Dawson in the senior circuit’s 13-3 loss in the 50th anniversary All-Star Game before 43,801 at Comiskey Park.
*It takes a thief: Raines led the White Sox in steals in 1991 (51) and 1992 (45). … Raines was successful on 83 percent (143-of-173) of his stolen base attempts with the Sox. … He is third all-time with a success-rate of 84.7 percent overall. … Raines stole a Sox-record 40 consecutive bases from July 23, 1993 to Sept. 1, 1995. That was the A.L. record (and still the second-highest) until Ichiro broke it in 2006 and 2007.
*ALCS excellence: Raines was the Sox best player in the 1993 ALCS.
Raines hit .444 (12-for-27) with five runs, three doubles, one RBI, two walks, a .443 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage in the six-game setback to Toronto.
His .444 average was a record for a six-game ALCS and still a Sox postseason record.
The only other player in Sox history to accrue 12 hits in a postseason series? “Shoeless” Joe Jackson in the best-of-nine 1919 World Series that went eight games.
*This and that: Raines collected his 2,000th hit in a Sox uniform. He reached the milestone on Aug. 12, 1993 against Kansas City with a game-starting homer. … Speaking of game-starting homers: Raines set a Sox record with five game-starting homers in 1993. He is tied with Adam Eaton (9) behind Ray Durham’s 20 in that category. … Raines was the second player in team annals to homer from both sides of the plate in a game. He accomplished the feat on Aug. 31, 1993 at Yankee Stadium in the same game Frank Thomas tied the club season record with his 37th homer. … DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’: Raines was the first base coach for the 2005 World Series champion White Sox.
*He gone: Raines’ Sox career ended when he was dealt to the Yankees (where he won a World Series title in 1996) for a player to be named later (Blaise Kozeniewski) on Dec. 28, 1995.
Note: Some of this material appeared and was updated from a previous post.