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Harold Baines

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Harold Baines
Harold baines2001
Designated Hitter, Right Field
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB Debut
April 10, 1980 for the Chicago White Sox
Final game
September 27, 2001 for the Chicago White Sox
Career Statistics
Batting average     .289
Home runs     384
RBI     1628
Teams
Career Highlights and Awards

Harold "Sweet Swinging" Douglas Baines (born March 15 1959 in Easton, Maryland) is a former right fielder and designated hitter in Major League Baseball. He played in the American League from 1980 to 2001, and he is best known for his three stints with the Chicago White Sox. His 1,628 runs batted in rank 11th in AL history. He is currently a coach for the White Sox.

In 1977, the White Sox picked Baines number-one in the amateur draft. The owner of the White Sox at the time, Bill Veeck, had spotted Baines playing Little League ball many years before, at the age of 12.

In 1980, the smooth-swinging 20-year-old became a regular outfielder on the White Sox and he began to produce in 1982 when he had 165 hits, 25 home runs and 105 Runs batted in. He ended the longest game in major league history (eight hours and six minutes over 25 innings on successive evenings) with his home run against the Milwaukee Brewers' Chuck Porter on May 9, 1984; the bat he used is currently kept at the Baseball Hall of Fame. The home run provided the only relief win for Tom Seaver in his illustrious career (Seaver also started and won the regular game that day). He also led the AL in slugging average in 1984.

In 1986, a succession of knee problems began which would gradually end his fielding career, forcing him to become a regular designated hitter. Despite the knee ailments and the resulting lack of speed, however, he remained a powerful hitter, picking up 166 hits in 1988.

Midway through the 1989 season, the Texas Rangers acquired Baines, along with Fred Manrique, from the White Sox in a much-derided trade which sent Wilson Alvarez, Scott Fletcher, and Sammy Sosa to Chicago. In 1990 Baines was traded to the Oakland Athletics for minor league pitchers Scott Chiamparino and Joe Bitker, where he helped them reach the post-season only to be swept by the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series. In 1992 the Athletics returned to the playoffs, only to lose to the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS.[1]

Prior to the 1993 season, Baines was traded by the A's to the Baltimore Orioles for minor league pitchers Bobby Chouinard and Allen Plaster. At the age of 34, Baines was still productive, batting .313, .294 and .299 over his three seasons with the O's. Baines returned to the White Sox as a free agent in 1996 but was traded back to Baltimore midway through the 1997 season; he helped the Orioles to reach the playoffs, although they lost to the Cleveland Indians in the League Championship Series. A six-time All-Star, Baines batted .324 in 31 career postseason games.

His final contract with the White Sox was not renewed following the 2001 season, after his third stint with the team. His uniform number (#3) was retired by the White Sox following his initial departure from the city to Texas, but was "un-retired" three times following his two returns as a player and one as a coach. He finished his career with 2,866 hits, 384 home runs and 1,628 RBIs. His 1,652 games as a designated hitter are a major league record, and he holds several hitting records among DHs. His career RBI total is 23rd all-time; his hit total ranks 37th all-time.

True to form, Baines' fourth stint with the Chicago White Sox began when he was named bench coach in March 2004. Baines has become such a big, yet soft-spoken, hero that people in Chicago and the nearby suburbs have even named their pets after him, according to The Commish Online, a baseball website.

In 2005, as a coach for the White Sox, he finally earned a World Series ring.

He became eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time in 2007, and received 29 votes or 5.3%. This was enough to ensure he will remain on the ballot in 2008. Baines has both the most career hits and most career RBI of any eligible player not in the Hall of Fame.

MLB Career rankingsEdit

  • Games - 2,830 (17th)
  • At Bats - 9,908 (27th)
  • Plate Appearances - 11,092 (31st)
  • Hits - 2,866 (39th)
  • Total Bases - 4,604 (30th)
  • Doubles - 488 (T-52nd)
  • Home Runs - 384 (50th)
  • RBI - 1,628 (23rd)
  • Walks - 1,062 (82nd)
  • Singles - 1,945 (53rd)
  • Runs Created - 1,657 (44th)
  • Extra-Base Hits - 921 (T-45th)
  • Times on Base - 3,942 (41st)
  • Sacrifice Flies - 99 (T-27th)
  • Intentional Walks - 187 (18th)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Harold Baines, baseballlibrary.com

External linksEdit

Preceded by:
Floyd Bannister
First overall pick in the MLB Entry Draft
1977
Succeeded by:
Bob Horner

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