Dwight Evans denied spot in Hall of Fame (again)

Rob Bradford
December 08, 2019 - 8:26 pm

Dwight Evans is still not a Hall-of-Famer.

The former Red Sox was not voted into the National Baseball of Fame on the Modern Baseball Era ballot, a list of candidates made up of those who made their biggest contribution tot he game between 1970-1987. Any candidate who received 75 percent on the ballots cast by the 16-member committee was inducted. Evans did not make the cut. Inducted were Marvin Miller and Ted Simmons

Evans had previously been on the Hall of Fame ballot for just three years, getting 5.9 percent of the vote in 1997, 10.5 percent in 1998 and 3.6 percent in 1999. This time he was denied by a panel made up of Hall of Famers, team executives and four media members.

Considering the way Hall of Famers have been viewed of late it is somewhat of a surprise Evans didn't make the cut.

For position players, a great place to start any Hall of Fame candidacy is where they finished in MVP voting considering it showed how the player was viewed among his peers (without having to rely on the fluctuating statistical markers throughout the years). Evans finished in the Top 11 in MVP voting over a nine-year span in the 1980’s.

It is a reminder that Evans — who broke into the majors in 1972 — was absolutely one of the best players in that decade, leading all big leaguers throughout the 80’s in extra-base hits (605) while hitting more homers than any other American Leaguer (256).

During his 20-year career, he led the majors in times on base (3,890) while topping all AL hitters in walks. He ranked second during that span in homers, extra-base hits, wRC, and runs scored.

What most likely hurt Evans during that initial wave of voting was a .272 career batting average, with his .840 OPS not valued like it should have been. At the time of his retirement, only 25 players had accomplished what the right fielder managed, totaling at least 10,000 plate appearances and an .825 OPS. All 25 of those players were in Hall of Fame prior to Sunday with the exception of Evans.

In fact, of the 25 Hall of Famers who played in 750 games in right field Evans had a higher WAR (67.1) than 13 of them, including recent inductees Andre Dawson, Dave Winfield and Vlad Guerrero.

He also won eight Gold Gloves, the third-most by any right fielder.