Upon his retirement as a player in 2001 Harold Baines ranked 7th in AL history in games played (2,830), and tenth in runs batted in (1,682). He also ranked 7th in league history in grand slams, 4th in 3-homer games, and tied for 7th in walk-off homers.
Despite these numbers, he was never considered a Hall of Famer as evidenced by him topping out at 6.1% on the writers’ ballot.
Baines’ career WAR of 38.7 ranks well below the standard for Hall of Fame outfielders. On the Black Ink test in which the average inductee has a score of 27, Baines comes in with a tally of 3.
As for the Gray Ink measurement, Baines scores 40 while the average HoFer comes in at 144. Bill James’ Hall of Fame Monitor ranks a likely member of Cooperstown at 100; Baines comes in at 66.
The 16-member Veterans Committee that elected him featured his first big league manager Tony LaRussa and the owner of the White Sox team Jerry Reinsdorf.
In the collection is a trio of baseball cards autographed by Harold Baines.
I am the niece, of Albert S, Bradley,my Uncle was the Manger of the American Legion Post #70,Talbot Ball. That was the Team Harold use to play on. MY uncle use to pick up Harold Baines,and take him to baseball practice. . My Uncle has since passed, while we were clearing his home out. I found a baseball that was signed by the Team, it also has a signature of Harold Baines. I also have a baseball Glove that contains his signature. We found old a group photo of Talbot Post #70 Team of Harold Baines, someday I would like to get Harold Baines, signature on the old photo. I use to ride along with my Uncle, and Harold Baines,to baseball practice. I wish that my Uncle could have been here to see that Harold,now is in the Hall of Fame . Deep down I believe my always knew Uncle Harold was destined for greatness. From a small home town,to the Hall of Fame,this is An American Story. Hometown player makes it to the big League. Sincerely yours Erika Clough.
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story, Erika!
Harold was always one of my favorite players during his playing days. I enjoyed his quiet demeanor….never seeking the spotlight. He let his bat do the talking for him. Never a shred of arrogance. Harold was as classy as they come.
Harold Baines is worthy of HOF induction, BUT I could name a dozen or more that are more worthy and should have been in already much less more worthy than Harold.