2013 Topps Museum Collection Tim Raines Autograph
If you have not added a Tim Raines card to your collection, I believe he is one of the more undervalued players from the 80s and early 90s. I'd go as far as saying that Raines should receive consideration from Hall of Fame voters and if I had my way I would go ahead and put "The Rock" in Cooperstown. Let's get this out the way first: The biggest fault of Tim Raines is that he played his great years in Montreal in front of tiny crowds. There are not a ton of baseball fans who would put Raines on a list of great players from the 80s and the matter is further complicated by the fact that the organization has moved to Washington D.C. and the Nationals do little to recognize their history north of the border.
The Nationals do have a Ring of Honor where Raines, Dawson, Gary Carter, and Rusty Staub are all recognized, but I do not think the Nationals would (or do) campaign for their players the way the Cubs did for years with third baseman Ron Santo. The case for Raines is pretty simple: He started his career by leading the National League in stolen bases four consecutive years and stole more than seventy each of his first five seasons. He scored more than 100 runs in three of his first five seasons leading the league twice during his career. Raines also won a batting title in 1986. I realize that a great five or six years of baseball is not enough for the Hall of Fame, but Raines did a lot more than just steal bases and win a batting crown.
One of the best parts of Raines career numbers is his On Base Percentage. Raines was great at drawing walks and would frequently draw 80 to 90 walks in a year. He had several seasons where he owned a OBP over .400 and ended with a career mark of .385. He also ranks 5th all-time in steals, is near 3,000 hits, and also ranks in the top 100 (63rd) in Offensive Wins Above Replacement Average. His JAWS Score (A measure used to measure Hall of Fame worthiness) ranks him seventh all-time as a left-fielder behind names like Bonds, Ted Williams, Rickey Henderson, and Yaz. He also ranks higher than Manny Ramirez, Billy Williams, and Ralph Kiner. $10 for an autograph of a great player? Steal.