|Date of Birth||3 November 1951, Santa Monica, California, USA|
|Birth Name||Dwight Michael Evans|
|Height||6' 2" (1.88 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
Three time All-Star Dwight "Dewey" Evans established a reputation as being one of the finest defensive outfielders of his generation, winning eight Gold Gloves for fielding excellence in his career as the right-fielder of the Boston Red Sox. The 20-year-old Dewey, who was born November 3, 1951 in Santa Monica, California, came up for a cup of coffee with the parent BoSox during its 1972 drive for the American League East pennant, when the woebegone team came in second to Billy Martin's Detroit Tigers by 1/2 game at the end of the season. After playing his way to Most Valuable Player honors of the Triple-A International League, Dewey was touted for super-stardom, but he did not mature as a hitter until the 1980s, when he came under the tutelage of Red Sox hitting coach Walt Hriniak, a disciple of Charley Lau. Before that time, he was an adequate hitter but mostly known as a great outfielder with a deadly accurate rifle for an arm.
Dewey originally had been a pitcher when he entered pro ball, but switched to the outfield. When playing catch before a game or between innings to keep his powerful right arm loose, he used an unusual, cocking wind-up of the wrist that hearkened back to his pitching days. Dewey won his eight Gold Glove Awards while playing half the season in Fenway Park, one of the toughest right fields in the major leagues due to its size and the position of the sun during day games. From 1975 through 1989, Evans was part of one of baseball's greatest outfields, playing alongside fellow Gold Glove-winners Carl Yastrzemski (left-field) and Fred Lynn (center-field), both of whom were American League MVPs. In the 1980s, he shared the outfield with MVP Jim Rice in left and slugger Tony Armas in center-field.
It took Evans over a year to come back from a bad-beaning in the second-half of 1978, the first year he had been named an All-Star. Red Sox manager Don Zimmer, himself the victim of a bad beaning that required skull surgery, denounced his right-fielder as having the "balls of a milk cow" for being shy at the plate after his beaning. Under the tutelage of Walt Hriniak, Evans began to improve as a hitter. After Zimmer was fired towards the end of the 1980 season, Evans coincidentally turned his career as a hitter around.
In the strike-shortened 1981 season, Evans led the A.L. in total bases (215), walks (85) and times on base (208). He also tied future Hall of Famer Eddie Murray, as well as Tony Armas and Bobby Grich, for the league home run title with 22. Dewey ranked second in runs scored (84) and on-base percentage (.415), and was third in slugging percentage (.522). Dewey came in third in A.L. MVP voting that year, finishing behind Hall of Fame reliever Rollie Fingers and future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson.
Evans continued hitting at a pace that, if he had hit as well during the 1970s, would have put him in the Hall of Fame. He was a major part of the Red Sox winning the A.L. pennant in 1986, appearing in his second World Series with the team (the first he played in, the 1975 World Series (1975), is considered the greatest ever played. In the 1986 World Series (1986), he hit .309 with two home runs and nine runs batted in. The following year, at the age 35, Evans recorded career highs in batting average (.305), home runs (34) and RBI (123). He came in fourth in voting for the 1987 A.L. MVP.
Dewey was part of the Red Sox teams that won the American League East pennant in 1988 and 1990. Despite the fact that his 2,505 games played for the BoSox was exceeded only by Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski (3,308), the Red Sox did not offer him a contract after the 1990 season. Similarly, they had released Jim Rice, another franchise player, at the end of 1989. Rice retired rather than accept an offer from Baltimore Orioles manager Frank Robinson to join his team. Dewey, however, took the deal that Rice refused, spending his final season with the Orioles. However, he was a shadow of the player he had been during the 1980s, batting just .270 with six homers and 38 RBIs in 101 games. He retired after the 1991 season.
Dewey played 20 years in the American League, batting .272 with 2,446 hits, 385 home runs and 1,384 RBIs. He scored 1,470 runs and whacked 483 doubles. These career numbers are very good, and may have put Dewey in the Hall of Fame in another generation, but they fall short of the new bar for the Hall, raised during the slugging, post-strike Nineties, when 3,000 hits and/or 500 home-runs became the sure-fire ticket to Cooperstown.
Dwight Evans was elected to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2000.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood