“Rock” Raines offering solid leadership to twin daughters, Goodyear Junior League softball team

Baseball Hall of Famer Tim Raines manages the Goodyear Junior All-Stars Softball team that is playing in the state tournament at Arthur Pack (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Tim Raines, nicknamed “Rock” because of his physical build dating to his running back days in high school, is solid now when it comes to teaching fundaments on the diamond to his twin daughters Ava and Amelie and the Goodyear Junior League All-Stars softball team.

The Hall of Famer who played in the major leagues from 1979 to 2002 is the manager of Goodyear’s team that is challenging for a state championship at Arthur Pack Regional Park.

During warmups on Sunday when his team prepared to play San Pedro (Benson) in the winners bracket, he encouraged his players and provided pointers including how to execute relay throws properly.

His team is 3-0 in the tournament, outscoring its opponents by combined total of 53-6.

Coming off Sunday’s 17-3 win over San Pedro, Goodyear plays in the championship round against a team from the elimination bracket Tuesday at 5 p.m. If it wins the title as expected, Goodyear will return to Tucson for the West Regional Junior Softball tournament at Arthur Pack from July 20-24.

The elder Raines made certain Ava and Amelie and all his players were aggressive on the basepaths, similar to his style when he played mostly with the Montreal Expos and later with the Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Florida Marlins.

Goodyear had five stolen bases and legged what might have been three doubles into three triples in the win over San Pedro.

At 64 years old, Raines Sr. is maintaining a youthful spirit at the ballpark being with his daughters.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Raines said. “With girls, you’re not sure what they want to play. They’ve actually played a lot of sports — tennis, basketball, volleyball … They started playing baseball until switching to softball in the last two to three years.”

Raines has a history of his children prospering while playing in Tucson.

His son Tim Jr. played with the Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders in 2008, the year the elder Raines moved to the state and started living in Goodyear.

This was seven years after he and his son played in the outfield together with the Orioles late in the 2001 season. Raines Jr. played center field and his dad was in left field, becoming the second father and son combination to play for the same major-league team, a feat previously accomplished by Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. with the Seattle Mariners in 1990.

Earlier in the 2001 season, Raines Sr. and his son played against each other in Triple-A when Montreal’s Ottawa club faced Baltimore’s Rochester team. Montreal traded the elder Raines to Baltimore in early October, creating the opportunity for father and son to play together before the season ended.

“It was a great day,” Raines Jr. told the Associated Press. “It was another learning experience. Every time he got up there, I was watching every little thing he was doing.”

Embed from Getty Images

The elder Raines is now impacting his daughters with his wisdom.

He describes his twins as having “good size, good speed with some power.”

“My oldest one by a minute (Amelie), hit her first home run a couple of days ago,” he continued. “My youngest daughter is Ava. I think she has about nine or 10 home runs. I mean, they have power and they both have speed, so they kind of remind me a little bit of myself.”

Raines played in 2,502 major-league games and accumulated 2,605 hits in 8,872 at bats for a .294 career batting average. He also had 170 home runs, 980 RBIs, a .385 on-base percentage and a .425 slugging percentage.

He stole at least 70 bases in each of his first six full seasons (1981–1986) and led the National League in stolen bases each season from 1981 to 1984. He won the 1986 National League batting title with a .334 average.

His 808 career stolen bases are the fourth-most in major-league history, behind Rickey Henderson, Lou Brock and Ty Cobb.

Tim Raines’ twin daughters — Amelie, a third baseman on the left, and Ava, a catcher (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Do his young Goodyear players — born well after his career ended 22 years ago — comprehend who they are learning from?

“They know who I am,” he said with a laugh. “You can Google me now. That’s what they do — they Google me and see me on video. I don’t really know if they know everything about me or if they would care. But I think they do.”

Ava (above) and Amelie Raines are twins of Baseball Hall of Famer Tim Raines to watch coming out of Goodyear in the years to come (Photos by Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

The elder Raines has a background of coaching in Tucson, serving as one of the White Sox’s coaches in 2005 and 2006 when that franchise conducted spring training operations at the Kino Sports Complex.

He also was a teammate with Arizona standouts Terry Francona and Brad Mills with the Expos.

He remains involved with baseball serving as a consultant with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Most of his time is spent helping his daughters develop.

“I’ve been able to get out there with them as much as they’d like me to,” Raines said. “I actually don’t force them to come and do stuff. They got to a point now to where they’re coming to ask me to be with them.

“They ask me if they can get some fly balls or ground balls. I kind of leave it up to them. They’re getting older. This is what they want to do, maybe go to college or something like that playing the game. They’re really starting to put in the time. They’re two good kids. They love the game and they’re pretty good players.”

The twins also play club softball, which could suffice for two budding prospects, but playing within the Goodyear Little League organization is what they want.

“It’s important for me; I never got the opportunity to play Little League when I was a kid,” Raines Sr. said. “To give them that chance, that was important to me. Little League, to me, is the biggest outfit for youth sports.

“They’re the only league that has a world series. They play on ESPN. You don’t get as much notoriety other than here with Little League.”

Ava Raines, a catcher, went 4 for 4 with three runs, a double, triple, two RBIs and two stolen bases in Sunday’s win over San Pedro.

Amelie, who plays at third base, was 3 for 5 with three runs, a double, triple and a stolen base.


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top