NEW YORK -- Tim Raines was introduced at the St. Regis Hotel on Thursday afternoon as one of the members of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Class of 2017.The induction will be held on July 30 in Cooperstown, N.Y. Raines will be inducted alongside Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez, Commissioner Emeritus
NEW YORK -- Tim Raines was introduced at the St. Regis Hotel on Thursday afternoon as one of the members of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Class of 2017.
The induction will be held on July 30 in Cooperstown, N.Y. Raines will be inducted alongside Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez, Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig and Braves vice chairman John Schuerholz.
After putting on his Hall of Fame jersey, Raines said the Baseball Writers' Association of America voted for his induction correctly, and then talked about how emotional he was after receiving the news in a call on Wednesday.
"It was very emotional yesterday. … It was probably the first time anyone had ever seen me [emotional]," Raines said. "Usually, I'm the one that has the smile on my face, and trying to get everybody else to smile about everything. Yesterday was the first time that someone tried to get me to smile -- but in the right way. I've been thinking about this for a long time."
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Raines played for six teams during his 23 years in the big leagues. At first, he delayed the decision about which cap would go on his Hall of Fame plaque. He talked about winning two World Series titles with the Yankees, how he played five years with the White Sox, spent a week with the Orioles and had time with the Marlins. But then he announced his cap will have the Expos logo -- and for good reason.
He spent 13 of his 23 seasons in the Major Leagues with Montreal, while making seven All-Star appearances, winning an All-Star MVP in 1987 -- his game-winning triple helped the National League edge the American League, 2-0 -- and capturing four stolen-base titles from 1981-84. Raines will become the third player to be inducted with an Expos cap, joining Gary Carter and Andre Dawson.
"My career started in Montreal," Raines said. "I spent 13 years there."
At first, it looked like Raines' career would go downhill before it started. He started having a substance abuse problem after his first full year in the big leagues in 1981. But he managed to overcome his problems, thanks to teammates such as Dawson, Carter and Warren Cromartie.
"I was young. I was 20 years old, not that that is an excuse," Raines said. "At a young age, you don't know what direction to go. Unfortunately, I stepped in the wrong direction. It was a situation of my first year, full season. We are a game away from going to the World Series. After we were out of it, it took something out of me. I wasn't sure what I was doing. I was a rookie. A lot of times, you don't know how to react to that stuff. All of a sudden, all kinds of people are coming at you in totally different ways. As a young kid, at times, I really didn't handle [it well]. Once I realized what I was doing, I knew it was wrong. I took care of it. I had guys on my team that helped me a lot. I had a lot of guys in my corner, and that's all it took."
With the support he received, Raines is now a Hall of Famer. The process took until his 10th and final year on the ballot for him to be elected, but it was worth the wait.
"It took a while. I'm so excited right now," Raines said. "I can't even remember that it took 10 years."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and
writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.