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Dwight Evans

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Dwight Michael Evans (born November 3, 1951 in Santa Monica, California), nicknamed "Dewey," is a former right fielder and right-handed batter who played for the Boston Red Sox (1972–90) and Baltimore Orioles (1991).

Evans was one of the finest defensive right fielders of his time, winning eight Gold Glove Awards (1976,1978-79 & 1981-85) despite playing in Fenway Park, one the toughest right fields in the majors. Also, his throwing arm was among the best in baseball during his prime. In the 1970s, Evans formed one of baseball's greatest outfields along with Jim Rice and Fred Lynn. In the 1980s, he joined forces with Rice and Tony Armas

Playing careerEdit

Evans started his career by winning International League MVP honors, but in his early major league career, he was primarily a defensive standout with a modest bat. In the second-half of his career, he became a powerful batter.

Evans made his Major League Baseball debut for the Boston Red Sox on September 16, 1972 in a game against the Cleveland Indians. The Red Sox won 10-0 behind the pitching of Luis Tiant who threw a 3-hit complete game (5 Ks, 2 Walks). Evans pinch ran for Reggie Smith in the 6th but was stranded at 2B, he played in right field where he recorded 1 PO. Evans went 0-1 at the plate in his debut. Evans played in 18 games in 1972 for the Red Sox, and had 57 plate appearances (.263 BA, 15 H, 2 R, 6 RBI, 1 HR).

Despite the strike-shortened 1981 season, Evans had his best all-around year. He paced the league in total bases (215), OPS (.937), walks (85), times on base (208), and tied Eddie Murray, Tony Armas and Bobby Grich for the home run title with 22. He also ranked second in runs scored (84) and on-base percentage (.415), and third in slugging percentage (.522). He added a .296 batting average with 71 runs batted in. In 1987, at age 35, Evans recorded career highs in batting average (.305), HRs (34) and RBI (123). He spent his final season with the Orioles, batting .270 with six homers and drove in 38 runs in 101 games.

Evans was named an Outfielder on The Sporting News AL All-Star team in 1982, 1984 and 1987 and was also tabbed as an Outfielder on the AL Silver Slugger Team by The Sporting News in 1981 and 1987. Evans would win the Gold Glove award in 1976, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985.

In his 20-year career, Evans batted .272, with 385 home runs, 1384 RBI, 1470 runs, 2446 hits, 483 doubles, 73 triples, and 78 stolen bases in 2606 games. Only Carl Yastrzemski (3308) played more games for the Red Sox than Evans (2505).

From 1980 through 1989, Evans hit more home runs (256) than any other player in the American League. He also led the A.L. in extra base hits over the same period of time. He is the only player to hit 20 or more home runs during every season of the 80's (1980-1989).

Evans hit a home run four times on Opening Day. On April 7, 1986, he set a major league record by hitting the first pitch of the season for a home run, eclipsing the mark held by the Chicago Cubs' Bump Wills, who hit the second pitch for a home run on April 4, 1982.

During his playing days with the Red Sox - and his one season with the Orioles - Evans wore uniform number 24. Other Red Sox players to wear the same jersey number since Evans retired include Tom Brunansky, Kevin Mitchell, Mike Stanley and Manny Ramírez.

In 2000, Dwight Evans was selected to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.

In 2002, Evans served as hitting coach for the Red Sox and wore uniform number 25.

In 2006, Evans was a Player Development Consultant for the Red Sox.

Curious StanceEdit

Template:Unreferencedsection Early in his career, Evans was known as "The Man of Thousand Stances", because he was always changing his batting stance. However, he was beaned during a game and suffered vertigo as a result. Desperate to shed his image as a glove-only player, and worried that his plate behavior contributed to his beaning, Evans was taken under the wing of then Red Sox hitting coach Walt Hriniak, who was a disciple of the late hitting instructer Charlie Lau. Hriniak impressed upon Evans the need for a fluid, balanced stance; however, he understood that every player became "balanced" and "fluid" in their own unique way. He worked Evans and developed Evans unusual stance. When a pitcher was not in a throwing motion, but merely on the rubber, Evans would curl up almost into a fetal position, with his bat slumped lazily down his back, his hands resting on his back shoulder. Immediately, however, when the pitcher was about to release the ball, Evans would draw his lanky frame onto his back foot and extend himself upwards; the bat and his hands would be held high above his head, and back.

Career highlights Edit

  • 3-time All-Star (1978, 1981, 1987)
  • 8 Gold Glove Award (1976, 1978–79, 1981–85)
  • 4-time Top 10 MVP (1981–82, 1987–88)
  • Led league in On-base percentage (1982)
  • Led league in OPS (1981 and 1984)
  • Led league in Runs and Extra-Base Hits (1984)
  • Led league in Total Bases and Home Runs (1981)
  • Led league in Walks (1981, 1985 and 1987)
  • Led league in Runs Created (1981 and 1984)
  • Led league in Times on Base (1981 and 1982)
  • 2,606 Games (34th All-Time MLB)
  • 8,996 At Bats (61st All-Time MLB)
  • 1,470 Runs (65th All-Time MLB)
  • 2,446 Hits (95th All-Time MLB)
  • 4,230 Total Bases (53rd All-Time MLB)
  • 483 Doubles (59th All-Time MLB)
  • 385 Home Runs (49th All-Time MLB)
  • 1,384 RBI (65th All-Time MLB)
  • 1,391 Walks (25th All-Time MLB)
  • 1,570 Runs Created (54th All-Time MLB)
  • 941 Extra-Base Hits (41st All-Time MLB)
  • 3,890 Times on Base (43rd All-Time MLB)
  • 77 Sacrifice Flies (87th All-Time MLB)
  • Hit for the cycle (1984)
  • 4-time hit a home run on opening days in his career, including one on the very first pitch of the season. The one he hit on the very first pitch was also in the first MLB game of the season, thus giving him the record for earliest home run hit in a season, which for obvious reasons can never be broken.
  • Has the 10th most career Home Runs hit by an American League right-handed batter (385).
  • Appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1988.
  • In the 11th inning of Game Six of the 1975 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, Evans made a spectacular running catch deep in the right field corner near Pesky's Pole, robbing Joe Morgan of a home run, then doubled Ken Griffey, Sr. off first. The Red Sox then won the game in the 12th on Carlton Fisk's famous walk-off home run.
  • He and Jim Rice were the first Red Sox player in 70 years, and third and fourth overall (after Harry Hooper and Heinie Wagner) to appear in postseason play four times (1975, '78, '86, '88). (Note: 1978 was a single-game playoff for the AL East title, which the Red Sox lost.) The feat has since been broken by Trot Nixon, who appeared in his fifth postseason for the Red Sox in 2005, Jason Varitek, who appeared in his sixth postseason in 2007, and Tim Wakefield, who appeared in his seventh that year.

Charitable WorkEdit

  • Evans and his wife Susan have been long-time supporters of the neurofibromatosis non-profit NF Inc., Northeast.[1] Their son Timothy was diagnosed with the disease in the 1980s.[2]

See also Edit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

Template:S-sports
Preceded by:
Reggie Jackson & Ben Oglivie
American League Home Run Champion
1981
(with Tony Armas, Bobby Grich,
& Eddie Murray)
Succeeded by:
Reggie Jackson & Gorman Thomas
Preceded by:
Rick Down
Red Sox Hitting Coach
2002
Succeeded by:
Ron Jackson

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