Raines-maker: Tim talks career, HOF journey

July 29th, 2017

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Tim Raines will be inducted into the Baseball of Fame on Sunday because of all he accomplished on the diamond, including ranking fifth all time in stolen bases (808) and recording 2,605 hits with 1,571 runs scored.

But Raines said his biggest accomplishment in baseball happened Oct. 4, 2001, when the Expos traded him to the Orioles. That same day, Raines and his oldest son, Tim Raines Jr., played alongside each other in the outfield.

The Raines family went a combined 1-for-9 in a 5-4 loss against the Red Sox. Tim Sr. and Tim Jr. became the second father-son duo in baseball history, after Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr., to play on the same team in a Major League Baseball game.

"I played with my son out of nowhere," Raines said. "We never thought about playing together. We talked more about me being in the big leagues at the same time [he was in the league]. I feel fortunate, and I'm sure my son feels the same way. … We are both proud."

Raines Jr. will be in attendance as his father gets enshrined in Cooperstown. Most of Tim Raines Sr.'s accomplishments came in an Expos uniform, and there is no doubt in his mind that his Hall of Fame plaque should have the Expos' logo.

He spent 13 of his 23 MLB seasons with Montreal, which included seven All-Star appearances, an All-Star MVP Award in 1987 -- his go-ahead triple in the 13th inning helped the National League edge the American League, 2-0 -- and capturing four NL stolen-base titles from 1981-84.

"First of all, I spent the majority of my career in Montreal. Not only that, my two best friends -- Gary Carter and Andre Dawson -- were teammates of mine when my career started," Raines said. "Both players went in [the Hall of Fame] as Expos. We were drafted by the Expos, we played most of our careers there. That's where it started for me. It's only fitting that I'm going into the Hall as an Expo.

Raines is pleased that Dawson will be sitting behind him when he is at the podium making his speech. Every time he wasn't voted into Cooperstown, Dawson was the one guy who would call Raines and tell him he would be enshrined one day. Raines finally was voted in during his 10th and final year of eligibility.

"[Dawson] would say, 'Don't worry about it. I think it's going to happen,'" Raines recalled. "I took his word for it. He is my best friend, one of my favorite teammates. I even loved playing against him. We go back a long way."

Raines says he will probably have a pinch-me moment when he sees Joe Morgan on the same stage. Raines wanted to be an NFL star, but it was Morgan's greatness at second base that convinced Raines to become a baseball player. The same Joe Morgan, who won two NL MVP Awards, helped the Reds capture two World Series titles and is now enshrined in Cooperstown.

"Joe Morgan is the reason I wanted to play baseball," Raines said. "We were the same height. I was a second baseman. I felt like if that guy can do it in that size, I could do it, too. That's why I attempted to play baseball."

MLB Network's exclusive live coverage of the 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony -- simulcast live on MLB.com -- begins with MLB Tonight Sunday at noon ET, followed by the ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Prior to Sunday's live coverage, you can watch a rebroadcast of the 2017 Hall of Fame Awards Presentation at 11 a.m. ET on MLB Network. It features Rachel Robinson (Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award), Claire Smith (J.G. Taylor Spink Award for writers), and the posthumous honoring of Bill King (Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters). The presentation will also commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of the film, "A League of Their Own."