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Rickey, Raines & Butler 1982 to 1995

Posted by Steve Lombardi on November 27, 2007

I just thought it was interesting to use Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index Batting Season Finder to look at Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, and Brett Butler during the period 1982 to 1995:

  Cnt Player            **OPS+**   PA   SB  From  To   Ages   G    AB    R    H   2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  IBB  SO  HBP  SH  SF GDP  CS   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS  Positions Teams
+----+-----------------+--------+-----+----+----+----+-----+----+-----+----+----+---+---+---+----+----+---+----+---+---+---+---+---+-----+-----+-----+-----+---------+-----------+
    1 Rickey Henderson     140    8136  960 1982 1995 23-36 1837  6698 1470 1928 342  43 219  744 1335  44  940  54   9  40 109 206  .288  .408  .450  .858 *78D      OAK-NYY-TOT-OAK 
    2 Tim Raines           126    8642  699 1982 1995 22-35 1944  7433 1305 2199 358 102 141  792 1083 136  775  35  37  54 111 125  .296  .385  .428  .813 *78/D49   MON-CHW     
    3 Brett Butler         112    8854  526 1982 1995 25-38 2034  7580 1268 2211 266 124  54  548 1059  23  828  36 131  48  60 243  .292  .379  .381  .760 *87/9     ATL-CLE-SFG-LAD-TOT 
 Seasons/Careers found: 3.

At his peak, Raines was better than Butler and just a tick below Rickey, I would imagine, based on these numbers, for some.

I have to wonder if Tim Raines, looking back, would now trade his Yankees World Series rings from 1996 and 1998 for a chance to play for a team where he would have gotten more PA (after 1995)?  With some more "full" seasons from 1996 to 1998, perhaps Raines would then be a slam dunk for Cooperstown - instead of being a debate...maybe? 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 at 9:25 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Rickey, Raines & Butler 1982 to 1995”

  1. David in Toledo Says:

    Agreed. If by getting more playing time, Raines had 200 more career times on base and 400 win shares, he'd be a more certain slam dunk.

    I added total bases to walks and hbp and steals, substracting times caught stealing and double plays grounded into. The totals are 5007 for Tony Gwynn and 5665 for Tim Raines.

    When you divide these by respective plate appearances, you get these percentages: Gwynn, .489; Raines, 547. That is, for every time Tony Gwynn came to bat, there was a .489 likelihood that he would advance a base. For Tim Raines, .547.

    Or look at career win shares: Gwynn 398, Raines 390, Roberto Clemente 377, Billy Williams 374, Willie Stargell 370, Lou Brock 348, Joe Medwick 312, Jim Rice 282.

  2. I can't believe there's any debate. I'm from the Joe Medwick school of Hall of Fame voting. Career milestones are overrated. Show me what the guy did in his ten best seasons.

  3. Among the top 10 offensive LF all-time (RCAA). Probably 3rd best leadoff hitter ever. Cooperstown can debate in perpetuity. They have no relevance when it comes to evaluating careers.

  4. I'm amazed how well Butler stacks up there...clearly the 'worst' of the three, but not by as much as I would have guessed.

  5. Can you compare Butler, Henderson and Raines with Molitor, Lonnie Smith, Brian Downing, Boggs and Willie Wilson...providing lifetime totals between 1982 and 1995, and limit it to Batting Order Position 1st?

  6. Raines was also clearly hammered by the strikes. In 1981 he had 71 steals in just 88 games. He may have broken Brock's record in a full season. He also missed time during all of the other work stoppages. He lost about 3/4ths of a season to strikes.

  7. Runs produced (R+RBI-HR) has Rickey and Raines almost a dead match in Steve's list above.

    Rather than looking at years, it's fairer to look at it by age. After all, why have Raines' age 22-24 and Butler's 36-38?