Dwight Evans came to the Red Sox organization as a 17-year-old prospect, a fifth-round pick from Chatsworth (California) High School in the 1969 June Amateur Draft, and traveled a road through many roles in his long career with the club.
Evans got a September callup in 1972, became a platoon player in right field as a rookie in 1973, won an every-day job in 1976, came back from a major knee injury in 1977, emerged as a slugger and an All-Star in 1978 and was an MVP candidate in 1981.
Later on, he played some first base and transitioned into a full-time DH role before joining the Baltmore Orioles as a free agent in December 1990.
Evans became an unexpected power-hitting leadoff hitter as his batting eye evolved, leading the American League in walks in 1981, 1985 and 1987. He was an eight-time Gold Glover for his defensive prowess in right field.
In the strike-shortened 1981 season, Evans helped keep the Red Sox in contention, leading the league in home runs, OPS and total bases while finishing third in the MVP voting.
He led the league in runs scored and OPS in 1984 and in on-base percentage in 1982.
Evans was also one of just two members of Boston’s 1975 American League pennant winner, along with Jim Rice, to remain when the Red Sox next won the AL title in 1986.
In parts of 19 seasons with the Sox, Evans hit .272/.370/.84, an OPS+ of 127, with 385 home runs, 1,384 RBI and 1,470 runs scored.
He also played in four postseasons, hitting .239/.333/.758 in 32 games with four homers, 19 RBI and 11 runs.
A three-time All-Star in all, Evans retired after he was released by the Orioles during spring training in 1992.
After retiring, Evans spent two years as a minor-league instructor for the Chicago White Sox before becoming hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies in 1994.
He returned to the Red Sox in 2001 as a roving instructor and became hitting coach in 2002. He remains a player development consultant for the orgaization.