By In Stuff

Favorite Athlete: Tim Raines

Of all the kooky traditions the perpetually weird Montreal Expos had, none topped the scoreboard chickens. Every time a pitcher threw over to first, a supremely low-tech image of a chicken — possibly an actual cardboard cutout — would flash on the screen, “Bawk-Bawk-BAWWWWWK” echoing through the stadium. We lost our minds the day Tim Raines goaded an opposing pitcher into 13 chickens during one turn on first. Decades later, I finally got to interview Rock. “Did you ever notice the scoreboard chickens?” I asked. “Sure! We’d all compete to see who could get the most. I always won.”

— Jonah Keri is staff writer for Grantland, the author of the marvelous “The Extra 2%” about the rise of the Tampa Bay Rays and he is currently working on a 2014 must read — a history of his beloved Montreal Expos.

5 Responses to Favorite Athlete: Tim Raines

  1. bh says:

    Expo forever

  2. Unknown says:

    My nephew and I went to Wrigley Field for the first time this weekend and my brother and I were laughing trying to explain this concept to him. Opposing pitchers hated it apparently which makes it even better!

  3. I wish I could have seen it. Tim Raines belongs in the HoF.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Raines was a fine player, and a very good leadoff man. His lifetime average was .294 with a .385 on base percentage. He was a switch-hitter who hit well from both sides of the plate, he had a little line drive pop in his bat. He was very fast and ran the bases very well…4th on the list of lifetime stolen bases, and his career stolen base percentage is the highest in history. He didn’t have a strong arm, but he was a fast left fielder and generally caught everything he could get to.
    The cocaine abuse early in his career hurt his stats (and his reputation) a bit. He was always considered to be one of the friendliest major league players, and had a lot of patience with the fans.
    I think he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

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