Evans in August 2007
November 3, 1951 |
Santa Monica, California
|September 16, 1972, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 6, 1991, for the Baltimore Orioles|
|Runs batted in||1,384|
|Career highlights and awards|
Dwight Michael "Dewey" Evans (born November 3, 1951) is an American former professional baseball right fielder and right-handed batter who played with the Boston Red Sox (1972-90) and Baltimore Orioles (1991) in Major League Baseball (MLB). He was a three-time All-Star, won eight Gold Glove Awards, and won two Silver Slugger Awards. Evans played the second-most career games for the Red Sox of any player, surpassed only by Carl Yastrzemski.
Evans was born in Santa Monica, California. He played Pony League and Colt League baseball in Northridge, California, with Doug DeCinces. Dwight attended Granada Hills High School in the tenth grade, but was not happy with the poor treatment he received from the baseball coaches. He then transferred to Chatsworth High School and played alongside Rick Rieger.
Evans was drafted in the fifth round of the 1969 MLB draft by the Red Sox, with the 107th overall pick, and then played in Boston's minor league system from 1969 through 1972. He played for the Florida Instructional League Red Sox (1969), short season Class A Jamestown Falcons (1969), Single-A Greenville Red Sox (1970), Single-A Winston-Salem Red Sox (1971), and Triple-A Louisville Colonels (1972).
Evans acquired the nickname "Dewey" while playing for Winston-Salem in 1971. It was coined by manager Don Lock who had already called Don Newhauser "Newie" and another teammate "Louie." In 1972, with Louisville, Evans was named MVP of the International League.
Evans made his major league debut with the Red Sox on September 16, 1972, during a Red Sox 10-0 win over the Cleveland Indians. Evans appeared in a total of 18 games late in the season, batting 15-for-57 (.263) with one home run and six RBIs. Early in his major league career, Evans was primarily a defensive standout (he would win eight Gold Glove Awards) with a modest bat. In the second half of his career, he became a powerful hitter, twice winning a Silver Slugger Award. Originally, Evans was assigned the uniform number 40, but quietly he wanted to wear number 24, the number of his idol Willie Mays. In 1973, the Sox gave him number 24, the number he wore for the rest of his career.
Evans was the Red Sox regular right fielder starting in 1973, a role he would have until 1987. In 1973 he batted .223 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs, and in 1974 he batted .281 with 10 home runs and 70 RBIs. In 1975, the Red Sox won the AL East and then swept the Oakland Athletics in the 1975 ALCS. Evans batted 1-for-10 against Oakland, being held to a double in the first game. In the 1975 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, Evans batted 7-for-24 (.292) with a home run and five RBIs. In the historic sixth game, with the score tied 6-6 in the 11th inning, Evans made a spectacular catch of a drive hit by Reds second baseman Joe Morgan; Evans then threw to first base to complete an inning-ending double play.Carlton Fisk hit his famous walk-off home run in the 12th inning to win the game for the Red Sox, 7-6, forcing a seventh game, which was won the next day by the Reds.
From 1976 through 1980, Evans batted an overall .260 with 94 home runs and 279 RBIs; he was limited to 73 games in 1977 by a knee injury; in each of the other years he appeared in at least 146 games. He was named an All-Star in 1978; he would be an All-Star twice more during his career. In 1981, despite the strike-shortened 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 RBIs, was an All-Star for the second time, and received his first Silver Slugger Award.
From 1982 through 1985, Evans batted an overall .274 with 115 home runs and 338 RBIs; in both 1982 and 1984 he played in every Red Sox game. On June 28, 1984, he hit for the cycle, in a 9-6 extra-innings win over the Seattle Mariners. In 1986, Evans hit a home run on opening day, April 7, on the first pitch of the MLB season, as Boston and the Detroit Tigers were playing the first game that day. His home run eclipsed the mark held by the Chicago Cubs' Bump Wills, who hit the second pitch for a home run on April 5, 1982. Evans hit a home run on opening day four times during his career. The Red Sox went on to win the AL East, and defeated the California Angels in seven games in the 1986 ALCS; Evans batted 6-for-28 (.214) with a home run and four RBIs. Boston then lost the 1986 World Series to the New York Mets in seven games; Evans batted 8-for-26 (.308) with two home runs and nine RBIs.
In 1987, at age 35, Evans recorded career highs in batting average (.305), home runs (34) and RBIs (123). He was named an All-Star for the third time of his career, won his second Silver Slugger Award, and finished fourth in MVP voting. Defensively, he started 77 games at first base, 71 games in right field, and four games as designated hitter (DH). In 1988, he batted .293 with 21 home runs and 111 RBIs, while starting 78 games in right field, 61 games at first base, and 6 games as DH. In 1989, he started 76 games in right field and 69 games at DH, while batting .285 with 20 home runs and 100 RBIs. In his final season with Boston, 1990, he started 121 games, all as DH, and batted .249 with 13 home runs and 63 RBIs. After the season ended, Evans was released by the Red Sox.
In his 19 years with Boston, Evans batted .272 with 379 home runs and 1346 RBIs in a total of 2505 games played. Only Carl Yastrzemski played more games for the Red Sox (3308). Evans won eight Gold Gloves (1976, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985), was a Silver Slugger twice (1981, 1987), and was a three-time All-Star (1978, 1981, 1987).
Evans signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles on December 6, 1990. He batted .270 with six homers and 38 RBIs in 101 games in his only season with the Orioles. Based on his uncertain medical status, Evans was released by the Orioles in spring training on March 15, 1992.
In his 20-year career, Evans batted .272, with 385 home runs, 1384 RBIs, 1470 runs, 2446 hits, 483 doubles, 73 triples, and 78 stolen bases in 2606 regular season games. In postseason batting, Evans batted .239 with four home runs and 19 RBIs, in 32 games played. In three All-Star Game appearances, Evans batted an overall 3-for-5, and had two walks and one run scored.
Evans spent two seasons as an MLB hitting coach; 1994 with the Colorado Rockies, and 2002 with the Red Sox. Evans was named a Player Development Consultant for the Red Sox in 2003; as of December 2017, he is still listed in that role by the Red Sox.
Evans was dropped from the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot when he did not receive the minimum five percent of votes in his third year of eligibility. Evans received 5.9% in 1997, 10.4% in 1998, and 3.6% in 1999. Evans' low vote total in 1999 is attributed to the appearance of future Hall of Fame players Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Robin Yount, and Carlton Fisk on the 1999 ballot. Based on his win shares metric, baseball statistician Bill James has argued that Evans is a worthy candidate for induction. In 2016, Evans commented, "I just don't understand the mentality of the voting."
This section needs to be updated. In particular: the All-Time MLB records need review.(December 2017)