Harold Baines

This article was written by Tim Deale - Malcolm Allen

Harold Baines (NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME LIBRARY)Harold Baines played 22 years in the majors (1980-2001), mostly with the Chicago White Sox. In 2019, following years of brisk and at times vociferous debate, Baines was enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Though he led the league just once in any offensive category, he was a major threat at the plate. After suffering a knee injury during his prime, the lefty-hitting outfielder persevered and established himself as a premier designated hitter. As his plaque in Cooperstown also attests, Baines was respected, clutch, professional, humble, consistent, and reliable.

Harold Douglas Baines was born to Linwood Jr. and Gloria Baines on March 15, 1959, in Easton, Maryland. He grew up in nearby St. Michaels, on the state’s Eastern Shore, with four siblings: Linwood III was a year older; the late Irving and Curtis were his younger brothers, with sister Bertha arriving in between. Their father was a mason. “He worked from dawn to dusk. By the time I saw him it was night,” Harold recalled.1 “He showed me what was important in life. We didn’t have those extra things, but we had what we needed.”2

Linwood Baines had played baseball for the Eastern Shore Negro League’s St. Michaels Red Sox.3 “He was my hero,” Harold said.4 “Not from a baseball aspect, it was just from the way he raised his kids.” Nevertheless, the sport helped form a strong bond between father and son. “Harold’s glove was bigger than he was, but he’d be dragging me down to the diamond,” the elder Baines recalled.5  “I think I played the game professionally for my dad, because he couldn’t,” Harold reflected.6

By the time Harold was a 12-year-old Little Leaguer, his hitting ability was undeniable. Former major-league owner Bill Veeck, who owned a home in the area, went to see him play at the suggestion of a friend, Bob Boinski.7 “[Baines] was hitting the ball 400 feet,” Veeck recalled.8 “You didn’t forget a bat that quick or a swing that compact and powerful. I didn’t.”9

Baines starred in three sports at St. Michaels High School, including soccer during his senior season. “He scored 15 goals and took us to the state final,” said coach Denver Leach.10 Baines captained the basketball squad and considered hoops his best sport. “I played forward, center and guard. I could dunk the ball and I averaged 22 points a game,” he said. “Nobody called with any scholarship offers, so I started turning my thoughts to baseball.”11

By his sophomore year, big league scouts knew about the promising first baseman/outfielder (who also occasionally pitched). The field at St. Michaels wasn’t fenced, so right field ended when the ground sloped into a drainage ditch after about 390 feet. A running track sat atop a hill another 100-feet away. One day, after the scouts’ plans to observe Harold were frustrated by an opponent’s intentional walks, they asked the teen to take postgame batting practice. “He took eight or 10 swings and hit three balls over the ditch,” recalled Coach Leach. “A couple of them bounced up onto the track.”12 They had seen enough.

Veeck, meanwhile, had repurchased the White Sox in 1975 and moved to Chicago. He continued to receive reports from Eastern Shore sources and a scout who’d seen Baines play in an American Legion tournament.13 Following a last-place finish in 1976, the White Sox held the first pick in the 1977 amateur draft, just as Baines was completing his senior season with a .532 batting average.14 Veeck had seen him only a few times, so he sent Chicago’s most trusted scouts to crosscheck: Walt Widmayer, Bennie Huffman and Paul Richards.15 “Bill wanted to be sure we were doing the right thing,” explained Roland Hemond, then the Sox’s vice president.16

“Harold wasn’t exactly playing in what you’d call a ‘class’ league,” Richards explained. “His swing was a natural, but there’s no way you could measure that against the pro pitchers until he actually hit against them.”17 Though Chicago’s need for pitching was more acute, and Bill Gullickson from nearby Joliet Catholic Academy was a local favorite, the White Sox made Baines the number-one overall pick in the country.

Veeck and Hemond traveled to Maryland the night before the draft and signed Baines minutes after the pick became official. “I doubt he’d ever been off the Eastern Shore much until the day he signed with us,” Veeck recalled. “They were a century behind there in race relations during the time Harold grew up. It was like growing up in the Deep South.”18

When the White Sox played in Baltimore that weekend, Baines took batting practice with them but didn’t show his ability. Veeck told Hemond that the new draftee was nervous but promised, “Don’t worry, he’ll be OK.”19

Baines debuted with the Appleton (Wisconsin) Foxes, batting .261 with five home runs in 69 games for the worst club in the Single-A Midwest League. Promoted to Double A in 1978, he got off to a miserable start with a sub-.200 batting average into June.20 He raised it to .275 by season’s end as the Knoxville Sox won the Southern League title. Next, in the Florida Instructional League he hit .333 with 38 RBIs in his first 32 games to help the White Sox clinch their division.21

When Baines struggled early again after advancing to the Triple-A Iowa Oaks of the American Association in 1979, teammate Rusty Kuntz recalled that the media was hard on the number-one pick. “They subjected him to a lot of abuse: ‘What are they doing sending us a 20-year-old who can’t hit?’”22

Unfazed, Baines kept improving and finished the year batting .298 with 22 homers and 87 RBIs. Two of the four-baggers came in the same inning on August 4, and he hit two more round-trippers two nights later.23 “I’ll give my best effort every day,” he explained. “The only way to do that is by eliminating the negatives and concentrating on being myself.”24

“Each time I thought I was pushing him beyond what he was capable of doing the last two years, he has responded,” remarked Tony La Russa, Baines’s manager at both Knoxville and Iowa.25 “From day one, he’s always been his own man. Nobody can lead him astray.”26

Harold Baines (THE TOPPS COMPANY)La Russa took over as the White Sox skipper that summer, and many believed Baines could join him in 1980. Orlando Cepeda likened the 21-year-old’s swing to that of Billy Williams. Jimmy Piersall compared him to Al Kaline. After working with Baines in spring training, Piersall gushed, “Give him the bat and ball and see you in 15 years. He’s not only got all the tools, but he’s got instinct. When you talk to him about baseball, you don’t have to tell him what base to throw to. He KNOWS that.”27 “This kid is going straight into the starting lineup and then straight to Cooperstown,” insisted Richards.28 Yet as Baines himself observed looking back in 2019, “I inherited athletic ability but you have to put in the work.”29

At the time, however, he recognized that he was still just a prospect. “How can people be calling me a superstar when I haven’t even made the team?” he protested.30 He worked his way into Chicago’s Opening Day lineup at Comiskey Park, batting sixth and playing right field. He went hitless against Baltimore’s Jim Palmer. “The first game I ever played in the big leagues stands out in my mind the most because my father was there to see it,” he said.31

Baines started 0-for-19 before ripping an RBI double against the Yankees’ Jim Kaat on April 17 for his first hit. Two nights later in Baltimore, he went deep against Palmer. One week after his sudden-death homer beat the Rangers’ Ferguson Jenkins on July 26, Baines was in Cooperstown…albeit it for the Hall of Fame exhibition contest against the Pirates. He stroked three extra-base hits including a home run.32 In the games that counted, he homered 13 times as a rookie and batted .255.

In 1981, Baines rarely played against left-handers after hitting only .159 against southpaws in his first year. Yet he hit .320 against them, which helped raise his average to .286 overall. After the season, he added 16 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame through a diet of 3,300 calories a day and a regimen of free weights.33 The White Sox hired renowned batting coach Charlie Lau, who spent two years with the team before succumbing to cancer. “Charlie taught me what pitches to look for on the particular ball-strike count,” Baines explained. “I turned my stats around immensely after that.”34 Describing his approach to hitting in 2019, he cited one thing above all: “Concentration.” He added, “I would give the pitcher a part of the zone but the other part of the zone was mine.”35

Playing every day in 1982, Baines become the youngest player in franchise history to drive in 100 runs.36 In July, he homered six times –including two grand slams—and drove in 15 runs in a six-game span. “He’s going to be the kind you’ll pay to see in a few years,” La Russa predicted. The White Sox signed him to a new contract guaranteeing $3.25 million over four seasons.37 “He’s the most unchanged player by success I’ve ever known,” marveled Veeck the following summer.38

The 1983 White Sox won 99 games – one shy of the franchise record. Baines was in the middle of a career-best, 19-game hitting streak when his game-ending sacrifice fly clinched the club’s first post-season appearance in 24 years. The RBI set off a raucous celebration at Comiskey Park in which fans flooded the field to celebrate with the players, but Chicago fell to the Orioles in the ALCS.

Baines married the former Marla Henry that fall, months after she earned her Bachelor of Education degree from Bowie State University. When they had met in high school, she’d been the scorekeeper for some of his teams.39 Their first child, daughter Toni, arrived in 1984, followed by sisters Britni and Courtney, with brother Harold, Jr. in between, over the next six years. They decided to raise their family in St. Michaels, a place Baines described as “the kind of place where you can have peace of mind.”40

In 1984, one of Baines’s bats went straight to the Hall of Fame. On May 9, he homered to end the longest game in American League history, a 25-inning marathon that took 8 hours and 6 minutes. The hit also generated one of his signature moments. When a reporter tried to elicit a comment by noting that he’d gotten all of the ball, the taciturn Baines simply replied, “Evidently”. He became “Mr. Evidently” to his teammates and, in 2019, the White Sox gave away Baines bobbleheads that played a recording of the single word.

But he had been in the worst slump of his career at the time. The historic blast was his first homer in a month, and his batting average didn’t get over .200 until Memorial Day weekend. In 81 games from May 29 through the end of August, however, he batted .364 and slugged .655, including eight four-hit contests. “The way he’s going now, he could hit a golf ball,” said teammate Rudy Law. “He had flaws when he was rushed to the majors, but he corrected them all,” Hemond observed.41 Baines insisted that he was just being more selective.

He finished the season as a .300 hitter for the first time, with personal bests in triples (10), homers (29) and a league-leading .541 slugging percentage. “To do what Harold does, his fire has got to be burning very brightly, whether anyone can see it or not,” said La Russa.42

In 1985, only nine of Baines’s 22 homers came before the end of July. “I have to go to left field. I have to take what they give me,” he explained.43 Nevertheless, he played in his first All-Star Game, raised his average to .309, and drove in a career-high 113 runs. He impressed Tom Seaver, his teammate that season. “He’s in the lineup every day and always has the same mental approach, whether he was 0-for-4 the previous day, or 4-for-4,” said Seaver. “Mental discipline is tough, but he shows it every day.”44

Chicago’s incoming GM, Ken Harrelson, remarked, “There are some teams out there that I wouldn’t take straight up for Harold.”45 The White Sox endured a disappointing 1986 that cost La Russa his job, but Baines returned to the All-Star Game, and became the first player in franchise history with at least 20 homers in five consecutive years.46 His season ended early, however, because of a right knee injury sustained on the next-to-last weekend. “A pitcher covering first base had his foot on the bag the same time I reached the base, and I stepped on his ankle,” Baines explained.47

Looking back in 2019, Baines added, “I had eight knee surgeries during my career starting from that injury.”48 He missed half of spring training in 1987 while rehabbing from an arthroscopic procedure. Yet he was in the lineup on Opening Day and banged out two hits from his customary third spot in the batting order. He left the contest early for a pinch-runner, however, and underwent another operation. In July, he became the White Sox’s all-time home run leader. As of 2024, he ranks fourth behind Frank Thomas, Paul Konerko, and José Abreu, but ahead of Carlton Fisk, who temporarily passed him in 1990.49

Throughout his career, Baines had been considered just above average as a right fielder with a strong arm. But in 1987 his knees forced him into the DH role. From then until the end of his career, he played in just 81 games in the field, and never more than 25 in any single season.

After a third operation on the same knee that winter, Baines arrived at spring training early each morning and split his days between swimming and physical therapy.50 He struggled early in 1988, but the White Sox still extended his contract that summer and made him the club’s first player with a $1 million annual salary.51 He earned a second straight Outstanding Designated Hitter award.52  “The first thing I thought about when I realized that I physically couldn’t play defense in the outfield on a regular basis was what I could do to help the team,” he explained. He studied pitchers and catchers intently, searching for clues. “I put all that concentration on offense.”53

After a down year statistically, Baines ran all winter to strengthen his knees.54 He also worked with incoming hitting coach Walt Hriniak.55 “[Hriniak] refreshed my memory of what Charlie Lau taught,” he said.56 Though Baines’s return to right field mostly ended after April, the notorious slow starter was the AL’s leading hitter into late May. For the fourth time in five seasons, he returned to the All-Star Game, which allowed designated hitters for the first time in 1989. He started for the American League and became the first DH to hit safely in a Midsummer Classic with an RBI single off the Cubs’ Rick Sutcliffe.

Less than three weeks later, however, he was traded to the Texas Rangers. The last-place White Sox acquired future All-Stars Sammy Sosa and Wilson Álvarez in the five-player deal, but many of Chicago’s fans and players were upset. “Baines comes as close to anyone as being Mr. White Sox,” acknowledged GM Larry Himes.57 “As a person, it will not be possible to replace him,” remarked club owner Jerry Reinsdorf.58

“After being in place for 10 years, you thought you could stay here your whole career, but it didn’t work out,” Baines said. “I wasn’t happy with the way [Himes] was doing things, but I was never mad at the fans or the organization itself.”59 When the Rangers visited Comiskey Park three weeks later, he received two standing ovations and went 3-for-3.60 The White Sox surprised him by retiring his uniform number 3 before the series finale.

The trade proved disappointing for both the Rangers and their new DH. The team never climbed above fourth place, and his 16 RBIs in 50 games were fewer than those tallied by Fred Manrique, the utility infielder Texas also received in the deal.

In 1990, Baines was batting .290 with 13 homers in late August, but he was sitting more frequently against left-handers. “I just wasn’t happy,” he admitted. “I didn’t feel I was being utilized the right way.”61 On August 29, Texas traded him to Oakland for two pitchers who combined to win three big-league games. The Athletics were on their way to a third straight American League pennant led by La Russa, the ex-White Sox skipper.

In Game Three of the World Series, La Russa gave Baines his first start against a southpaw in almost eight weeks. He responded with a two-run homer off Tom Browning of the Reds, but Cincinnati upset the Athletics in a four-game sweep.

Baines remained with Oakland for the next two seasons. In 1991, he walked more than he struck out for the first time in his career, batted .295 and drove in 90 runs. Seven of the RBIs came in a three-homer performance against the Orioles on May 7 in which he set an Oakland record with 14 total bases.62 On May 18, 1992 in Baltimore, his father was on hand to witness his 1,000th RBI.63 Baines hit just .253 that season, but batted .440 in Oakland’s ALCS loss to Toronto, including a game-winning, ninth-inning homer off Jack Morris in Game One.

Harold Baines (TRADING CARD DB)On January 9, St. Michael’s celebrated Harold Baines Day, which grew into an annual event with a golf tournament to raise scholarship money for dozens of local high schoolers to attend college or trade schools.64 Five days later, he was traded to the Orioles for two young pitchers shortly after he’d re-signed with Oakland. The arrangement allowed Roland Hemond –who’d become Baltimore’s GM—to avoid losing a draft pick. Veeck had died in 1986 but Bob Boinski, who’d recommended Baines to him, remarked, “I guess Bill’s smiling now that Roland got him back.”65

Baines had reason to smile, too. All four of his children would still be under age 10 on Opening Day and playing in Baltimore meant he could commute from St. Michael’s, just a 90-minute drive away. “Not too many guys get a chance to play in their home state, so playing with the Orioles meant a lot to me,” he said. “I enjoyed every minute of it.”66

In 1993, he reached base in 13 straight plate appearances (eight hits and five walks) to tie a Baltimore record.67 He notched his 2,000th hit in August, and finished the season batting a career-high .313. “When I left Texas, they assumed I was done. When I left Oakland, they assumed I was done,” he said. “That has been my motivation.”68

He underwent another operation –this time on his left knee—but had two more strong years for the Orioles.69 By the end of 1995, he’d become the first big leaguer in history to appear in at least 1,000 games at both a single defensive position and as a DH.70

Baines had to find a new team in 1996 after Pat Gillick replaced Hemond as Baltimore’s GM. He signed with the White Sox as a free agent, rejoining the club that displayed his retired number at the ballpark. “I’m taking it down,” he said. “A retired number means you’re supposed to be dead and done already.”71 At 37, he was the oldest Chicago player on the roster for the entire season, but he enjoyed an excellent year, batting .311 with 22 homers and 95 RBIs. “I can’t run, but I can still see,” he quipped.72

“Harold’s amazing,” raved teammate Frank Thomas. “He hits with authority and he takes care of himself.”73

The articular cartilage in both of Baines’s knees was so worn down that bone ground against bone in spots. He spent time each day with trainer Herm Schneider, who believed the way he planted his front foot after lifting it before swinging exacerbated the stress on his knees. “I give myself a lot of credit for staying in there and fighting all the obstacles I’ve had,” Baines said. “I’ve had to work to get on the field.”74

In 1997, Baines played what proved to be his final two innings of defense in June. On July 11, he homered in Kansas City for his 2,500th hit. Three weeks later, he was batting .305 when the sub-.500 White Sox traded him back to the Orioles. He hit .364 in two rounds of playoffs as Baltimore advanced to the ALCS, but the club fell two wins short of reaching the World Series.

Baines hit .300 again in 1998 but missed nearly a month with a strained hamstring. At age 40, however, he still commanded respect. The Scouting Notebook 1999 said, “Baines remains a productive hitter with outstanding plate coverage.”75 That year, a red-hot first half gave him a .355 batting average with 21 homers in 234 at-bats by mid-July. One memorable blow came against the White Sox on May 4 — a game-ending homer (his 10th) that was also a grand slam (his 13th).76

On July 16, Baines passed Hal McRae as the all-time hit leader among designated hitters with a four-hit performance. The next day, he homered to move ahead of Don Baylor atop the position’s home run leaderboard.77 Though David Ortiz surpassed both marks in 2013, Baines’s teammate Cal Ripken noted, “Harold helped define the DH in baseball. It’s a position now. That was a discovery to a lot of people.”78

“Nobody wants to be a DH,” Baines said. “I loved playing the outfield. But with my knees, I’ve known for a long time the way I can help a baseball team is with my offense, not my defense…I’m lucky there’s still a DH in the American League. If there wasn’t, I would have been done.”79

Hopelessly out of contention, the Orioles traded him to the first-place Indians on August 27. With Cleveland, he surpassed the 100-RBI mark for the first time since 1985. His .533 slugging percentage shattered Stan Musial’s 1962 mark for 40-year-olds.80 He batted .357 with a homer in the Division Series, but the Indians fell to the Red Sox.

Baines re-signed with the Orioles for 2000, even though it wasn’t clear exactly how much he’d be utilized. “From what I know about baseball, if you’re hitting, you’ll play. If you’re not hitting, you won’t play,” he said.81 He platooned at DH again but struggled through a poor first half for a losing club. At the end of July, he was traded for the third time in four seasons, back to the White Sox, who were leading the AL Central. On a visit to Baltimore on August 15, he hit his 384th and final homer. In Chicago’s ALDS loss, he went 1-for-4 to complete his post-season career with a .324 batting average in 31 games. 

The 2001 season was Baines’ 22nd in the majors. When he lined a single off Cincinnati’s Jim Brower for his 2,686th career hit in an interleague game on June 14, his average was an awful .133. Even worse, he severely pulled a hip flexor on a checked swing.82 He returned for his 2,830th and final game on September 27 in Chicago but struck out looking in his only at bat.

Baines tried to keep playing in 2002, but he couldn’t find any takers. “I didn’t know it [2001] was going to be my last season,” he said in 2019, “but the reality is at age 42 you don’t expect the phone to ring.”83

He finished his career with a .289 batting average, 384 home runs and 1,628 RBIs. Only Al Kaline, with 399, hit more longballs among players without a single 30-homer season. When he retired, only two dozen major leaguers in history had driven in more runs.84

A word often associated with Baines is “clutch” – he had a rep for coming up big in tough situations. Yet according to one analysis, “Baines’s numbers at crucial moments were about the same as in all other situations.”85 This underscores that he was quite simply a very consistent and reliable hitter.

After his playing days ended, Baines became a roving minor league hitting instructor for the White Sox. When coach Joe Nossek retired during spring training 2004, Chicago skipper Ozzie Guillén asked his former teammate to become his bench coach, and Baines agreed. He led the club for four games when Guillén was suspended, just long enough to confirm to himself that he didn’t want to manage.

Baines finally earned a World Series ring when the 2005 White Sox became the first Chicago team in 88 years to win the Fall Classic. It meant a lot to him to accomplish a longstanding goal and to be there every day working with the players.86 He remained in uniform for another decade, as the first base coach and later the assistant hitting instructor.

In 1984, a 25-year-old Baines had said, “I want to be remembered as somebody they enjoyed watching at the ballpark, but it doesn’t have to be a superstar or anything like that.”87 Nevertheless, in 2008, the White Sox unveiled a bronze statue of him outside U.S. Cellular Field. He was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame the following year. As for his chances to make it to Cooperstown, he remarked in 1997, “The only thing I can control is when I’m at the plate. Other people vote for stuff. If it happens, great. If not, I’ve had a very good career.”88

Baines was considered on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot for five consecutive years beginning in 2007. His candidacy received support from the likes of Cal Ripken, who’d entered the Hall himself in 2007.89 Yet he never received more than 6.1% of the votes from members of the Baseball Writers Association of America – far short of the 75% required for induction. After receiving less than 5% support in 2011, he dropped off the writers’ ballot entirely. The numbers he’d compiled were deemed closer to good than great, lacking the milestone totals or league-leading figures usually achieved by the game’s immortals. To some, the fact that he’d been a platoon player for a significant part of his career neutralized the benefits of his 22-season longevity. The stigma of being primarily a DH after suffering a career-altering injury at age 27 certainly factored in as well.

After the 2015 season, Baines retired from coaching. Late in 2018, he learned that he would finally receive a plaque in Cooperstown. The Today’s Game Era Committee – including his longtime supporters Tony La Russa and Jerry Reinsdorf – gave him the 12 votes he needed out of 16 required to earn induction. Even La Russa admitted, “There were some very candid discussions” during the voting process.90 Baines himself was widely quoted as being “shocked.” It was a secret ballot and nobody else besides Reinsdorf or La Russa has gone on the record. But it’s noteworthy that eight other members of the Committee besides La Russa were also members of the Hall.

When the news broke, the other most prominent and vocal defender of Baines and his worthiness was former White Sox teammate Paul Konerko, who cited mental strength and leadership by example along with performance.

The election of Baines remains as controversial – one especially heated exchange featuring La Russa took place on MLB Network91 – as it is irreversible. Yet in his quiet and humble way, Baines expressed his gratitude to the voters and for the existence of the Committee.92

Baines became the third player picked number-one overall in the June amateur draft to enter the Hall, after Ken Griffey, Jr. and Chipper Jones – even though he was drafted a decade ahead of Griffey and 13 years ahead of Jones.

Baines’s father had died in 2014, prompting the remark, “The only thing missing when it comes to being elected to the Hall of Fame is my dad’s not here to see it.”93 On July 21, 2019, he took his place among the game’s all-time greats, closing his uncharacteristic 9 minute 54 second speech with a lesson that his father taught him when they played catch: “Words are easy, deeds are hard. Words can be empty. Deeds speak the loudest, and sometimes they echo forever.”94

In May 2021, Baines had heart replacement surgery, followed by a kidney transplant the next day.95 After recuperating, he returned to Chicago in 2022 to throw out the ceremonial first ball before the White Sox’s home opener.96 As of 2024, Baines still lived in St. Michaels and worked for the White Sox as a Community Relations Representative.

Last revised: January 30, 2024


Acknowledgments and photo credits

Special thanks to Harold Baines, who graciously granted several telephone interviews to Tim Deale, including one on his 60th birthday in 2019.

This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and Norman Macht and fact-checked by Chris Rainey.

Photo credits: National Baseball Hall of Fame Library and Trading Card Database.



In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author also consulted www.baseball-reference.com, www.retrosheet.org, and www.tcdb.com.



1 Jerome Holtzman, “Low-keyed Baines Still Doing Talking with His Bat,” Chicago Tribune, June 22, 1995: E3.

2 Mike Kiley, “Baines Appears Set to Make Some Noise – On the Field,” Chicago Tribune, April 7, 1985: C1.

3 “Harold Baines,” https://libapps.salisbury.edu/nabb-online/exhibits/show/friends-rivals-baseball-delmar/national-baseball-hall-of-fame/harold-baines, (last accessed November 13, 2020).

4 Bert Lehman, “For Harold Baines, Chicago Was Always His Kind of Town,” https://sportscollectorsdigest.com/news/harold-baines-chicago-town, (last accessed November 13, 2020).

5 Peter Schmuck, “Baines’ Happy Landing,” Baltimore Sun, January 29, 1993: 1C.

6 Lehman, “For Harold Baines, Chicago Was Always His Kind of Town.”

7 Bill Veeck, “Maryland, My Maryland,” Chicago Tribune, October 4, 1983: C3.

8 Mike Kiley, “The Big RBI Goes to Baines,” Chicago Tribune, September 18, 1983: B3.

9 Veeck, “Maryland, My Maryland.”

10 Schmuck, “Baines’ Happy Landing.”

11 Dave Nightingale, “Naturally, Baines is a Success,” Chicago Tribune, April 27, 1980: C1.

12 Schmuck, “Baines’ Happy Landing.”

13 Veeck, “Maryland, My Maryland.”

14 Harold Baines, 1981 Topps Baseball Card.

15 Veeck, “Maryland, My Maryland.”

16 Kiley, “The Big RBI Goes to Baines.”

17 Nightingale, “Naturally, Baines is a Success.”

18 Kiley, “The Big RBI Goes to Baines.”

19 Ken Rosenthal, “The Beginning for Baines Was Humble One,” Baltimore Sun, October 10, 1990.

20 Bob Verdi, “Sox’s Baines Dazzles All – Except Baines,” Chicago Tribune, March 18, 1980: D1.

21 Richard Dozer, “Sox Notes,” The Sporting News, December 9, 1978: 42.

22 Nightingale, “Naturally, Baines is a Success.”

23 “Baines’ Blasts,” The Sporting News, August 25, 1979: 40.

24 Bob Logan, “Can’t Miss Baines Becomes Sox Hit,” Chicago Tribune, May 6, 1983; D2. 

25 Richard Dozer, “Bleak Outlook for Claudell,” The Sporting News, February 9, 1980: 40.

26 Jerome Holtzman, “Shell Still Perfect Fit for Baines,” Chicago Tribune, February 24, 1983: B5.

27 Verdi, “Sox’s Baines Dazzles All – Except Baines.”

28 Nightingale, “Naturally, Baines is a Success.”

29 Harold Baines, telephone interview with Tim Deale, March 15, 2019 (hereafter Baines-Deale interview).

30 Verdi, “Sox’s Baines Dazzles All – Except Baines.”

31 Lehman, “For Harold Baines, Chicago Was Always His Kind of Town.”

32 Harold Baines, 1982 Topps Baseball Card.

33 “Cubs Rough Up Gaylord,” The Sporting News, April 3, 1982: 38

34 Kiley, “Baines Appears Set to Make Some Noise – On the Field.”

35 Baines-Deale interview.

36 Another 23-year-old, Frank Thomas, was 10 weeks younger than Baines when he drove in 100 runs for Chicago in 1991.

37 Murray Chass, “55 Players Rate ‘Super Rich’ Tag,” The Sporting News, February 14, 1983: 39.

38 Kiley, “The Big RBI Goes to Baines.”

39 Veeck, “Maryland, My Maryland.”

40 Schmuck, “Baines’ Happy Landing.”

41 Joe Goddard, “Patience at Plate Pays Off for Baines,” The Sporting News, July 2, 1984: 19.

42 Dave Van Dyck, “Baines Critics Out of Ammo,” The Sporting News, August 27, 1984: 32.

43Dave Van Dyck, “Over the Long Run, Baines’ Stats Better,” The Sporting News, May 20, 1985: 17.

44 Kiley, “Baines Appears Set to Make Some Noise – On the Field.”

45 Joe Goddard, “Sox Seek to Make Baines a ‘Lifer’,” The Sporting News, March 31, 1986: 37.

46 “A.L. West,” The Sporting News, September 15, 1986: 16.

47 Baines-Deale interview.

48 Baines-Deale interview.

49 In 1990, Fisk passed Baines to become the White Sox’s all-time home run leader. By the time Baines moved back in front of Fisk in 1997, Frank Thomas had surpassed both players.

50 “White Sox,” The Sporting News, January 25, 1988: 48. 

51 “White Sox,” The Sporting News, July 4, 1988: 21.

52 Since 2004, it’s been called the Edgar Martinez Award.

53 Lehman, “For Harold Baines, Chicago Was Always His Kind of Town.”

54 “White Sox,” The Sporting News, January 16, 1989: 44.

55 “White Sox,” The Sporting News, January 2, 1989: 64.

56 “A.L. West,” The Sporting News, August 14, 1989: 23.

57 Joe Goddard, “‘Mr. White Sox’ Goes to Texas,” The Sporting News, August 7, 1989: 23.

58 Goddard, “‘Mr. White Sox’ Goes to Texas.”

59 Joe Goddard, “Chicago White Sox,” The Sporting News, August 19, 1996: 27.

60 “Rangers,” The Sporting News, August 28, 1989: 22.

61 “Gonzalez’s Progress Means Bye-Bye Baines,” The Sporting News, September 10, 1990: 14.

62 Kit Stier, “Oakland Athletics,” The Sporting News, May 20, 1991: 17. In 1932, Jimmie Foxx had a 16-total base game for the Philadelphia Athletics.

63 Harold Baines, 1993 Topps Baseball card.

64 Schmuck, “Baines’ Happy Landing.”

65 Schmuck, “Baines’ Happy Landing.”

66 Lehman, “For Harold Baines, Chicago Was Always His Kind of Town.”

67 2000 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 51.

68 Phil Rogers, “Baines Tips Cap to Trainer,” Chicago Tribune, March 9, 1997: 3

69 Peter Schmuck, “Baines Hurting but Should Return,” The Sporting News, October 18, 1993: 22.

70 Harold Baines, 1996 Collector’s Choice Baseball Card. Baines played 1,042 games in right field. While both Paul Molitor and Chili Davis exceeded 1,000 games played on defense, neither player saw action in 1,000 games at any single defensive position.

71 Dave Van Dyck, “Back to Future,” The Sporting News, February 19, 1996: 27.

72 Joe Goddard, “Chicago White Sox,” The Sporting News, June 3, 1996: 32.

73 Joe Goddard, “Chicago White Sox,” The Sporting News, August 19, 1996: 27.

74 Rogers, “Baines Tips Cap to Trainer.”

75 John Dewan, ‎Don Zminda, ‎and Jim Callis (editors), The Scouting Notebook 1999, Chicago: STATS Inc. (1999): 47.

76 Chris Bodig, “Harold Baines Hall of Fame Moments,” Cooperstown Cred, July 21, 2019 (https://www.cooperstowncred.com/harold-baines-hall-of-fame-moments/)

77 2000 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 50.

78 Bonnie DeSimone, “Pursuit of the Ring, Forget Sentiment,” Chicago Tribune, September 30, 1997: 4, 1:4.    

79 Rogers, “Baines Tips Cap to Trainer.”

80 2000 Baltimore Orioles Media Guide: 50.

81 Dave Buscema, “Baines Home, Again,” York [Pennsylvania] Daily Record, December 10, 1999: B01.

82 Scot Gregor, “Hip Injury Sidelines Baines and Might End His Career,” The Sporting News, June 25, 2001: 33.

83 Baines-Deale interview.

84 Harold Baines, 2005 Donruss Classics Stars of Summer Baseball Card.

85 Bill Deane, Baseball Myths, Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press (2012) : 145.

86 Baines-Deale interview.

87 Phil Hersh, “Baines is a Star Lost in the Shadows,” Chicago Tribune, September 9, 1984: C1.

88 Bonnie DeSimone, “Pursuit of the Ring, Forget Sentiment,” Chicago Tribune, September 30, 1997: 4.

89 Mike Klingaman, “A Classy Guy Who Could Hit,” Baltimore Sun, August 28, 2009.

90 David Schoenfeld, “Harold Baines wasn’t ‘sitting around thinking about’ Hall of Fame nod,” ESPN.com, December 10, 2018.

91 For further discussion, see the biography of Al Oliver on the SABR BioProject.

92 Baines-Deale interview.

93 Lehman, “For Harold Baines, Chicago Was Always His Kind of Town.”

94 “National Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend,” http://www.asapsports.com/show_interview.php?id=152264 (last accessed November 18, 2020).

95 Scott Merkin, “Baines Thankful for Second Chance with New Heart, Kidney,” MLB.com, April 11, 2022, https://www.mlb.com/news/harold-baines-heart-kidney-transplant (last accessed January 30, 2024).

96 Jasmine Smith, “MLB Legend Harold Baines Receives Second Chance with New Heart,” BlackDoctor.org, April 19, 2022, https://blackdoctor.org/mlb-legend-harold-baines-recieves-second-chance-with-new-heart/3/ (last accessed January 30, 2024).

Full Name

Harold Douglas Baines


March 15, 1959 at Easton, MD (USA)

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