CHICAGO -- When Harold Baines is enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 21 in Cooperstown, don’t expect his speech to be very long and don’t expect the speech to be much about him. That’s just not the style of the low-key Baines, who played 14 of
CHICAGO -- When Harold Baines is enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 21 in Cooperstown, don’t expect his speech to be very long and don’t expect the speech to be much about him. That’s just not the style of the low-key Baines, who played 14 of his 22 Major League seasons with the South Siders, as well as having been part of the White Sox coaching staff from 2004-15.
“It will be about others, it won't be about me,” said Baines during a press conference at the Guaranteed Rate Field Conference and Learning Center prior to Tuesday’s scheduled contest with the Tigers, which was ultimately postponed due to rain. “It will be about my community, it will be about my coaches, my teammates and last but not least, my family.
“Not hardly anything about me. It's just my personality. I'm not Ozzie [Guillen] or [Ron] Kittle, who can talk, talk, talk. I'm not saying I'm not saying anything. It's just my nature.”
Guillen and Kittle talked about Baines on Tuesday, extolling his virtues as a player and as a person as part of that same press conference. Baines was elected in December by the Today's Game Era Committee, along with closer Lee Smith, a friend of Baines. They join Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera, who were elected by the Baseball Association of America to the Class of 2019.
“Harold Baines was always cool, man. Harold Baines was a White Sox when the White Sox were nothing,” Guillen said. “Not too many people went through it. They won in '83, they had great players, but Harold Baines went through a lot of bad teams. It's not easy to put up numbers when you don't have that many players around you that can help you.”
“He talked with his bat,” Kittle said. “You saw him get better and better every year.”
Baines has prepared his speech, which he said is around 10 minutes and was very hard to write. He won’t really be able to process the emotions of the day until he actually goes through it.
“I get there on a Wednesday and the ceremony is not until Sunday,” Baines said. “It's kind of hard to tell you what I'll be feeling until probably Saturday night.”
White Sox pay tribute to Skaggs
Daniel Palka was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third round of the 2013 Draft, but didn’t know Tyler Skaggs, who was part of the same organization at the time. The tragic passing of the 27-year-old Angels hurler Monday still deeply affected the White Sox outfielder.
“It’s terrible,” Palka said. “I thought about it the whole day. I think everybody is just feeling for his family and it’s crazy. He’s so young.”
Lucas Giolito considered Skaggs a friend and someone he looked up to as a young pitcher in California. Giolito chose not to talk with the media Tuesday about the left-handed hurler’s passing, but he posted a touching tribute on his Twitter account.
He said it
“I'm learning more now than I ever have. Just because I'm not playing, I'm not really focused every single day on getting in the lineup and going out there and competing. I'm asking a lot of questions.” -- Catcher Zack Collins, the White Sox No. 11 prospect per MLB Pipeline, who has 18 plate appearances over five games since arriving in the Majors (on June 18)
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.