Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?
No. He was never mentioned as the best and was only mentioned among the best for a few years in his prime. He was overshadowed by Rickey Henderson who had the same skill set, played the same position, batted leadoff, and did it all in more publicized markets: Oakland and New York vs.Montreal
Was he the best player on his team?
Yes. He played on some very good teams in Montreal with Andre Dawson, Al Oliver, and Gary Carter in which he was the best and also played for the White Sox where Frank Thomas was unquestionably better.
Was he the best player in baseball at his position?
He had a couple of seasons where he was (1984, 1986) but he was #2 consistently behind Rickey Henderson.
Did he have an impact on a number of pennant races?
His rookie year they won the division but the 1980's Expos can be describe as the team that could never get over the hump, finishing 3rd six times. While with Chicago the Sox won the division in 1993 and 1994 and finished second twice. Towards the tail end of his career, Raines joined the Yankees and helped them win two World Series.
Was he good enough that he could play regularly after passing his prime?
Is he the very best player in baseball history who is not in the HOF?
Mark McGwire is going to be the answer to this question for a number of years. Aside from BigMac there is no one more deserving on the outside looking in.
Are most players who have comparable statistics in the HOF?
Using the Baseball-Reference top comps, the #1 player most similar to Raines is Lou Brock. Even then the similarity score isn't that strong, which is good because Raines was the better player.
Do the players statistics meet HOF standards?
Aboslutely. He led the league in batting average and on-base percentage in 1986. Led the league in runs scored in 1983 and 1987. Led the league in doubles in 1984. Led the league in steals four times. Makes me think the knock on him of not leading his league in important categories is unwarranted.
Is there any evidence to suggest that the player was significantly better or worse than is suggested by his statistics?
Is he the best player at his position who is eligible for the HOF?
No, he's still shadowing Rickey.
How many MVP type seasons did he have? Did he ever win an MVP award? If not, how many times was he close?
Timmy never won an MVP but finished in the top 10 only three times. He was MVP worthy each season from 1983-1987.
How many All-Star type seasons did he have? How many All-Star games did he play in? Did most of the players who played this many All-Star games go into the Hall of Fame?
Raines performance warranted All Star consideration in 1981, 1983-1989 and 1992-1993. He made seven straight teams.
If this man was the best player on his team, would it be likely that the team could win the pennant?
I want to say yes but his teams didn't back me up on this. There were some pitching issues in Montreal though.
What impact did this player have on baseball history? Was he responsible for any rule changes? Did he introduce any new equipment? Did he change the game in any way?
He, along with Henderson, helped change the leadoff position by convincing teams that fast guys who get on base and hit for power are perfect in this role.
Did the player uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?
Rock, had a cocaine problem early in his career but checked himself into rehab and appeared to be fine after that. Other than that I have heard nothing negative.