Red Sox’ Dwight Evans Should Be In Cooperstown
With MLB social media sites having the fans vote for each team’s “Franchise Four”, meaning vote for the best players in your franchise’s history, I figured I would try it out. My first two votes included Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. The next two votes really made me think for who I felt was deserving of them. The third vote went to Johnny Pesky. No, Pesky wasn’t the All-Star player for the teams he was on , but you could make an argument that Johnny Pesky did as much for the Red Sox as a franchise as anyone who has come through their system.
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My fourth and final vote was cast for a man whom I believe is the forgotten Red Sox star. I voted for Dwight Evans. I know some of you are probably thinking “Oh what about Pedro? ” Well, Pedro only played in Boston for seven years while Dwight Evans played 19 out of the 20 years of his career with Boston. While I was taking a closer look at Evans’ credentials throughout his career, I was almost shocked that this man is hardly ever talked about. Evans was born in Santa Monica, California on November 3, 1951. His family later moved to Hawaii, then moved back to California.
Evans tried out for his high school baseball team but didn’t make it. He was determined to play baseball and eventually made the team is junior year. At just 17 years old, Evans went in the fifth round of the 1996 draft, the 107th overall pick.
On September 16, 1972, Evans made his major league debut for the Red Sox with a pinch run for All-Star Reggie Smith. In 1975, Evan joined Hall of Famer Jim Rice and Fred Lynn in what would be one of the best Red Sox outfields of all time.
Evans soon began making his mark on Red Sox fans everywhere. Known for his rocket arm, the eight time Gold Glove Award winner led the league in assists three times. The Red Sox Hall of Famer hit 379 home runs in 2050 games for the Red Sox.
The three-time All-Star compiled a 65.1 WAR throughout his career. This mark puts Evans as 15th all time among right fielders in front of players such as Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield, Vladimir Guerrero, Sammy Sosa, José Canseco, Bobby Abreu, Darryl Strawberry, Andre Dawson, and Ichiro Suzuki.
From 1972 through 1990, he is first in WAR among right fielders. He also ranks seventh in WAR in front of highly touted Hall of Famers such as Carlton Fisk, Robin Yount, Wade Boggs, Alan Trammell, Andre Dawson, Ozzie Smith, Jim Rice, Reggie Jackson, and Johnny Bench.
Between 1980 and 1990, the only outfielders to hit more home runs than Evans were Dale Murphy and Andre Dawson. Evans has also played the third most games in right field in that time, trailing only Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente.
Evans was dropped from the Hall of Fame ballot when he did not receive the minimum 5% of the votes. This was due in large part because of players like Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Robin Yount, and Carlton Fisk were on the 1999 ballot. Evans is the epitome of a Boston baseball player, hard-nosed and tough. He wears number 24 on his back for his idol, Willie Mays, but he should also be sitting in Cooperstown wearing a Red Sox hat on his head.
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