Having grown up in Ottawa, just two hours away from Montreal, the Expos were the closest team for me to follow in the newspapers, on radio and on television. My father also took me to Montreal for games a few times a year.
Tim Raines was a disruptive force on the basepaths. The scoreboard at Olympic Stadium in Montreal used to have a cartoon chicken show up on the screen, accompanied by the sound of a clucking chicken anytime a pitcher threw over to a base to try and pick off a runner, or just to keep them close. Every time the pitcher threw over, another chicken appeared on the scoreboard. It was a sound you would often hear when Tim Raines was on base.
He was a great base-stealer and lead-off man, overshadowed by playing at the same time as Rickey Henderson, the best ever in those roles.
With Raines having led the National League in stolen bases in 1981, it was only natural that he would be featured with sliding tips in the 1982 Zellers set.
|The card backs should be read from right to left to match the card photos above|
An unfortunate side-note to go with these cards is that Tim Raines had a cocaine problem in 1982. He entered into a substance abuse facility at the end of the season. Raines testified at the 1985 Pittsburgh drug trials that he used to keep his vial of cocaine in his hip pocket so as to not leave it in his locker, and would use a headfirst slide to not break the vial.
Having re-signed with the Expos for the 2001 season, Raines was traded near the end of the season to the Baltimore Orioles where he was able to play a game with his son, Tim Raines, Jr. They became the second father-son duo to play together in the same lineup on the same team, after the Griffeys.
Best wishes to Tim Raines for tomorrow's announcement!