Harold Baines was selected at No. 1 overall in the 1977 MLB Draft by the Chicago White Sox. Drafted out of high school, he made his way through the minors before making his Major League debut on April 10, 1980.
Baines spent 22 seasons in the big leagues, 14 of which were spent in Chicago over three stints. He also played for the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, and Cleveland Indians.
A versatile outfielder who later transitioned to designated hitter, Baines held a career fielding percentage of .978. That is a great number for a player who played one position, but for a player with Baines’s versatility and presence at three different positions, it is that much more impressive. Baines also possessed an arm that would make base runners think twice about trying to tag up on a catch or taking the extra base. He had seven total seasons in which he finished in the top 10 in assists by an outfielder.
Baines’s career numbers include 2,866 hits, 384 home runs, 488 career doubles, and a career batting average of .289. On eight occasions, he tallied at least 150 hits in a season, including a streak of five consecutive campaigns.
A six-time All-Star who served as a hitting coach and first base coach following his retirement, Baines was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 by the Veterans Committee; his induction was long overdue.
Baines’s No. 3 is among the few forever immortalized in the organization’s storied history after being retired by the White Sox.
While he didn’t reach a huge milestone such as 500 home runs or 3,000 hits, his 22 solid seasons in Major League Baseball is still an impressive feat.