I remember in the 1975 World Series; the announcers quoted the Reds players as saying the player that really impressed them with his ability to do everything was Dwight Evans. I took this with a grain of salt because this was the rookie year of Fred Lynn and Jim Rice. Rice didn’t play in the series as he was injured, but Fred Lynn won Rookie of the Year and MVP that year. However here I am 46 years later advocating Dwight Evans for the hall of fame, but not Fred Lynn and Jim Rice.
However, I have both of them in my borderline hall of fame with good numbers. I have Rice in 247th place and Lynn in 248th place. So, Rice being elected I have no probable with, and I wouldn’t either with Lynn. I amazed I have them one spot apart and amazingly enough less than 1 point apart. I will discuss that in more detail later.
It is interesting that Evans peaked at 29 and 30 and was stronger in his 30s than in his 20s. One reason why is his game stayed the same, but he walked a lot more, increasing his on base average. He never scored 100 runs in his 20s but scored 100 runs four time in his 30s. It was the exactly the same story with RBIs, never scoring 100 runs in his 20s, but four times he did this in his 30s. While Evans never had 70 walks until age 29, he had 70 or more from age 29 to 37 or until he started to fade.
I was looking at Evan’s post season stats and was 9 RBIs in the 1986 World Series. I didn’t remember that he had a good series. One thing Evan’s played in four Championship series and never had a good series but played twice in the World Series and had real good series both times. Anyway, I decided to go through game by game of the 1986 World Series to see how he did. Just a note was that I remember Marty Barrett having a real good Series. He hit .433 and had and on base percentage of .514 being on base 18 times in 7 games. However, he only scored 1 run in the Series, strange.
Game 1. Red Sox 1, Mets 0. Evans batted 5th. He was 0 for 3 with a walk. He didn’t have an RBI.
Game 2. Red Sox 9, Mets 3. Evans batting 5th again and I will only discuss this if he changes. Evan’s hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 5th to make the score 6-2. It increased the Red Sox’s chances of winning the game by 12 percent to 91%. It was the second most important play of the game.
Game 3. Mets 7, Red Sox 1. Evans now batting sixth. He went 0 for 4.
Game 4. Mets 6, Red Sox 2. Evans still batting sixth. He 1 for 3 with a walk and one RBI. Unfortunately, he had the RBI after the Mets were ahead 6-0, so it was not to helpful. That is 3 RBIs in four games.
Game 5. Red Sox 4, Mets 2. Evans batting 6th 2 for 4, 1 RBI. The Red Sox had a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Evans came to bat with two men on. Evans hit a single to stretch the lead to 1-0. The hit increased the Red Sox chances of winning by 10 percent to 76%. The Red Sox stretched the lead to 4-0. Bruce Hearst gave up 1 run each of the last two innings but held on for the win.
Game 6. Met 6 Red Sox 5, 10 innings. Evan’s batting 5th being back again in New York and no designated hitter. Evans went 1 for 4 with 2 RBIs. He hit a double in the first to make the score 1-0. Evan’s came up in the top of the seventh with men on first and third with 1 out and the scored tied 2-2. He grounded out, but the lead run scored giving the Red Sox a 3-2 lead.
Game 7. Mets 8 Red Sox 5, Evans batting 5th, 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs. Evans led of the top of the second with a home run. Rich Gedman followed with a homer to make it 2-0. The Red Sox scored another run in the inning to make the score 3-0. Evans homerun was the fourth biggest play of the game.
In the eighth Evans came to bat with the score 6-3 Mets. However, the first two batter were on base with no one out. Evans hit a double to make the score 6-5. This was the third biggest play of the game. Evans was the tying run at 2nd. Jessie Orosco the Mets relief came in the game and retired the last six Red Sox to give the Mets the World Series.