BP: Put Tim Raines in Cooperstown

Tim Raines deserves to be enshrined in Cooperstown. Getty Images

Andre Dawson will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. Per the decision of Cooperstown's gatekeepers, his bronze plaque will feature the cap of the Montreal Expos -- baseball's lost tribe -- just like that of former teammate Gary Carter. Alas, the visage of one eminently deserving former Expo has yet to be cast in bronze, despite numbers showing he's a much stronger candidate than this year's honoree: Tim Raines.

Over the course of their fascinating and often dazzling careers, "The Hawk" notched more career hits (2,774 to 2,605), home runs (438 to 170) and RBIs (1,591 to 980) than "The Rock," and was awarded more hardware -- specifically the 1987 MVP award, which some view as dubious. (More on that via Insider come Sunday.)

As flashy as those credentials are, Raines trumps his former teammate not only in stolen bases (he's fifth all time, and his 84.7 percent success rate ranks third among players with at least 300 attempts) but also in the categories which equate most directly to measurable value on the diamond: Raines reached base over 500 times more than Dawson while using nearly 900 fewer outs in a similar number of opportunities, advancing himself or his teammates further around the diamond, and creating more runs per plate appearance.