September 17, 2021

Gammons: The Hall of Fame case for Dwight Evans (The Athletic)

July 3, 1980. It was 101 degrees in Baltimore, humid enough to boil crabs in the dugout. I had arrived at Memorial Stadium at 12:30 p.m., to run and shag and hopefully play pepper or whatever players were doing on a sauna-day afternoon. Red Sox hitting coach Walt Hriniak said, “I don’t think anyone’s coming out until BP (at 5 p.m.), except Dwight. Could you hold up shagging for a while?”

Of course. Hriniak pulled the cart with the baseballs out to the mound. Carl Yastrzemski came out in shorts and a t-shirt and leaned against the cage. Dwight Evans walked out of the visitors dugout, stopping for words with Yastrzemski, his close friend.

These were hard times for Evans. Once considered one of the sport’s rising stars, he was nearing the All-Star Break with a .192/.282/.345 slash line, platooning with Tom Poquette, with media speculation that he could be traded to whoever would give the Red Sox a mid-rotation starter.

The concern was that he seemed to…

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