The Winter Meetings unofficially got underway Sunday night (they officially start on Monday, but everyone gets in on Sunday), and the first big event of the week was the announcement of the Modern Baseball Era Hall of Fame inductees. This is a group of players (plus Marvin Miller) who played from 1970-1987. Among the nine players (again, plus Marvin Miller), the one of specific note to us was Dwight Evans. There are 16 members on the committee who ultimately cast their ballots here. Each can vote for up to four candidates, and a candidate must get 12 votes to make it.
Unfortunately, Evans did not make the cut. There were two who did, with Marvin Miller (way too late, but that’s a story for another day) and Ted Simmons making it in. According to Rob Bradford of WEEI, Evans got eight votes.
Hearing Dwight Evans got votes from 50 percent from 16-person panel. Needed 75 percent. https://t.co/A4MstKLe3S— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) December 9, 2019
I’ll have a little more on those two in tomorrow’s Roundup, but for now we’ll keep the focus on Evans. We are a Red Sox site, after all. Evans was, of course, a star for the Red Sox for 19 years, spending most of the 70s, all of the 80s and one year of the 90s in Boston. In that time, he received MVP votes in five seasons, made three All-Star games, won eight Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers.
Being born in the final year of his career (while Evans was with Baltimore), I don’t really have a personal connection to the outfielder. Having grown up in the Boston area around adults who grew up in the 70s and 80s, though, I can tell you plenty of people do. When you hear about Red Sox baseball in that era, it doesn’t take too long to get to Dewey’s defense, which is about as great as we’ve ever seen in Fenway’s right field.
He had a great bat on top of that, too, finishing his Red Sox career hitting .272/.369/.473 for a 127 OPS+. In his nine-year peak from 1981-1989 he hit .281/.388/.498 for a 139 OPS+. By Baseball-Reference’s measure he finished his career worth 67.1 wins above replacement value. His FanGraphs WAR was 65.1 while Baseball Prospectus had him at 69.1. Generally speaking the loose baseline for a Hall of Fame-level career is 60 WAR. In his initial run on the ballot he peaked with 10.4 percent of the votes and was knocked off after only three tries. Alas, Evans will not be inducted this summer either. The next time this era will be voted upon will be in the winter of 2022.