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Evans falls short in Hall of Fame bid

@IanMBrowne
December 8, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- For the first time since 1999, Dwight Evans was back in the running for the Hall of Fame via the Modern Era ballot. But the gifted right fielder and on-base machine who played for the Red Sox for parts of three decades fell short.

SAN DIEGO -- For the first time since 1999, Dwight Evans was back in the running for the Hall of Fame via the Modern Era ballot.

But the gifted right fielder and on-base machine who played for the Red Sox for parts of three decades fell short.

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Perhaps Evans will again be on the ballot in the coming years.

Candidates needed to earn at least 75 percent of the votes from the committee, which consisted of 16 members. Evans was one of 10 candidates chosen for the ballot, of which late MLBPA director Marvin Miller and Cardinals, Braves and Brewers catcher Ted Simmons were selected for induction in the Hall on Sunday. Evans received eight votes, or 50 percent.

While it is often said that a player can’t get any better after he retires, the case for Evans was unique in that his offensive strength (getting on base at a high volume) is something that is weighted far more in player evaluations today than when he had his short run on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot from 1997-99.

The man known throughout Red Sox Nation as Dewey played for Boston from 1972-90, then played one season for the Orioles before retiring following the ’91 season.

Right field at Fenway Park is considered the toughest to play, and Evans mastered it, winning eight American League Gold Glove Awards, a franchise record that still stands for the Red Sox.

Decades before analytics shaped where players would position themselves, Evans had an innate sense to align himself perfectly.

This set him up for the countless tremendous plays he made in his career -- none more memorable than the lunging grab he made to rob Joe Morgan of a game-winning homer in the 11th inning of that epic Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Evans also had a cannon for an arm.

Though Evans is best known for his defense, his offense was also impressive -- though not enough to punch his ticket to Cooperstown this year.

Evans was at his best in the 1980s, leading all Major Leaguers in extra-base hits (605) and the American League with 256 homers. He was second in the AL in RBIs (900), total bases (2,657) and walks (919). Evans was the only player in the ‘80s with at least 900 RBIs and 900 walks.

During that decade, Evans led all outfielders in OPS (.882) and doubles (306).

Over the 20 years Evans played, he was on base 3,890 times, the most of any player during that time span.

Overshadowed at times by teammates like Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk and Wade Boggs, Evans hopes to one day join that quartet in the Hall of Fame.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.