Tuesday, July 13, 2010

#255 - Dwight Evans

Card fact: One of the last cards I needed to complete the set. One of the final five.

What I thought about this card then: My brother had this card, the mini card. He was a big fan of "Dewey."

What I think about this card now: First, a very nice shot of Fenway Park.

Secondly, why is this card so difficult to obtain? I'm not the only one I've come across who is trying to complete this set who has struggled to land the Evans card. He was a good player all right, but he is by no means considered a major star or an expensive card to purchase.

Other stuff: Dwight Evans is one of the most popular players in Red Sox history (perhaps explaining my question above). He started out as a great fielder, and he had a terrific arm. I don't know how many times his arm was mentioned during the Saturday Game of the Week (the Red Sox were on all the time). But it was often.

During the 1970s, his hitting was buried in a tremendously powerful lineup, and he could be expected to hit about .250. But in the 1980s, his hitting emerged and he became a very consistent batter with good power.

Evans is mentioned for the Hall of Fame periodically, which surprised me when I first heard it because he didn't seem to be Hall of Fame material during his playing career. But his longevity, his fielding, plus his ability to draw a walk and get on base probably makes him very attractive in Hall of Fame arguments.

Evans made one of great plays in the famed Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. In the top of the 11th inning with Ken Griffey on first base, Evans snared a long drive off the bat of Joe Morgan and doubled Griffey off of first base.

Back facts: Another cartoon mention of Babe Ruth! The cartoonist must have loved drawing him.

Also, I don't know why you would put Evans in left field with an arm like that. A quick look at baseball-reference confirms that he spent very little time there, and most of it was at the start of his career.

Other blog stuff: Posting on this blog may be sporadic the next few days. I'll be in vacation mode. But I'll try to get to it.


Chris Stufflestreet said...

This was also one of my final five cards left as I was finishing the set. I was trading with a group that included many Red Sox and Tigers fans, which accounts for the problem with me.

Dewey Evans was one of the last cards I needed for my '73, '78, '81 and '83 Topps sets as well.

Play at the Plate said...

Enjoy your vacation mode, whatever form it takes.

All the things you mentioned are nice (for Hall consideration), but would he get that consideration if he had played his whole career in Cleveland or Houston?

Offy said...

Walter Hriniak was the one responsible for resurrecting Evans' offensive career. Once Dewey started using his trademark batting stance where he tapped the toe of his front foot and dangled the bat almost straight down, his numbers improved.

If Evans had hit like that, I'm not sure how you could deny him for the Hall. As it is, his numbers aren't all that far off from Rice's and he was just inducted. The problem is that Rice was one of the most feared hitters in baseball for a couple of years (before fading out fast) while Evans was consistently good for a stretch of years. I also think that Evans suffers from the era he played in. He was hitting 15-20 HR a season back when 25-30 would lead the league, but it was right before HR totals would start to climb.

Personally, I know that the Hall is out of the question, but I do think that Dewey has to be the first player not elected to the Hall to have their number retired by the team. To me, the reason you retire numbers in the first place is to honor a player such as Dewey.

MoltenLava said...

That is the exact same cartoon used on Jim Kaat's card! I wonder if any other cartoons are duplicated in the set?

Neal Ford said...

I had this card.. and the opportunity to meet Dwight Evans when I was 11 or 12 down in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
He was signing Autographs at the "Bradlees" store there. My dad bought me a baseball which Dewey then signed for me.