Brief Baseball Bios – Dwight Evans

Dwight Evans was a very good baseball player, who played from 1972-2001, all but one year of that with the Boston Red Sox. He racked up 65.1 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in his career according to FanGraphs and 66.7 WAR on Baseball-Reference. This puts his contributions in the area of Hall-of-Famers Duke Snider, Roberto Alomar, and Andre Dawson. Yet, he is not a Hall-of-Famer.

Evans did struggle with some injuries during his career. Also, his once excellent corner outfield defense deteriorated as he got older, which hurt his overall career WAR total. One thing Dwight was extremely good at, though, was getting on base. He had a .370 career on-base percentage, backed up by a decent .470 SLG percentage. He was definitely a power hitter, but he was overshadowed by other great hitters of his era.

Evans won six Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger Awards. His OPS numbers were always solid but his traditional “power numbers” of home runs and RBI were somewhat inconsistent due to the fact he missed chunks of seasons here and there. So, his 385 home runs didn’t seem like enough to Hall of Fame voters, which is why he never made it into the Hall.

Today, it’s clear that Evans probably belongs in the Hall, though. He was easily one of the best Red Sox players of all-time. He’s a fan favorite even now years after his playing days. He probably should have been a career Red Sox player, but he decided to hang on for an extra year in 1991 with the Orioles, producing about 0.8 WAR in 101 games (though he did have a .393 OBP!)

Evans had a chance at two World Series victories in both 1975 and 1986, and was one of the team’s most valuable players for many years. His #24 uniform probably should have been retired (although for many years the Red Sox required that the player enter the Hall of Fame for that, until retiring Johnny Pesky’s #6 a few years ago). A lot of people weren’t happy when Manny Ramirez took his #24, and though I never saw Evans play myself, I can understand why. Of course, Manny, for all his faults, did give a lot to Boston, and Evans, being the classy gentleman he is, didn’t seem to mind.

I still hope they retire #24 for him someday, even if he never makes it into Cooperstown. He deserves to be there.

Best wishes to you, Dewey!

Updated 10/18/2014        

Writing words, spreading love, Amelia Desertsong primarily writes creative nonfiction articles, as well as dabbling in baseball, Pokemon, Magic the Gathering, and whatever else tickles her fancy.
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