Maxim magazine once declared that Razor Shines had the most badass name in sports history.
Who am I to argue with Maxim?
Very few players who never really made the big leap to regular status in the major leagues had a cult following the way Razor Shines had. His name was no small part of it.
His middle name was Razor. He was quite wise to not go by his first name of Anthony. Tony Shines doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Shines was an 18th round pick by Montreal in the 1978 draft. He joined the organization just as the team was developing into a contender.
A relatively late bloomer, his minor league career took a turn in 1982 when the 25 year old Shines developed his power and average at AA Memphis.
In 1983, he put up excellent numbers at AA and AAA before finally getting his shot in the majors. He only appeared in 3 games for Montreal but he seemed ready to make the leap for good.
In 1984, the Expos moved their AAA club from Wichita to Indianapolis. That would be the city that would embrace the Razor. Year in and year out, he would put up solid numbers for Indianapolis. And year in and year out, those numbers would not translate in the major leagues.
As he regularly hit 20 homers at AAA, he never hit one at the big league level. Andres Gallaraga settled in at first and Tim Wallach at third and Shines chance to become beloved in Montreal faded away.
He played 9 seasons for Indianapolis. When Indianapolis shifted from being an Expos team to being a Reds team, Shines rejoined Indy.
As his playing career ended, Shines developed into a successful minor league manager and coach on several major league teams. He has been the skipper for Birmingham and Clearwaer, Great Lakes and Chattanooga and Tulsa. He was a member of the White Sox and Mets major league coaching staff.
He was honored by Indianapolis when he returned as the manager of the Charlotte Knights.
Now why hasn’t he got a shot to manage in the big leagues? He only has years of experience and respect from people all around baseball. Maybe he can be like Jim Leyland or Sparky Anderson, players who never made it in the majors but excelled as a big league manager.
Either way, Expos fans could have had the combination of Tim Raines and Razor Shines if he had clicked in the big leagues. Winning by Raines or Shines would have been a copy writer dream.
Raines is in the Hall of Fame this weekend.
Maybe Shines will get in as a manager.