LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Chicago White Sox legend Harold Baines, a six-time American League All-Star, has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Today's Game Era Committee.
Baines, who needed 75.0 percent of the votes, received 12 out of a possible 16 votes (75 percent) to earn enshrinement in the Class of 2019. This year marked the second time Baines appeared on the Today's Game Era ballot.
Along with right-handed pitcher Lee Smith, Baines will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 21, 2019 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
"This is an incredible honor that is truly humbling," said Baines. "I would like to thank the Today's Game Era Committee members for bestowing me with this honor, and there are just so many people to thank for helping me reach my potential as a player and as a person."
Baines joins Luis Aparicio (1984), Luke Appling (1964), Eddie Collins (1939), Charles Comiskey (1939), Red Faber (1964), Carlton Fisk (2000), Nellie Fox (1997), Al Lopez (1977), Ted Lyons (1955), Ray Schalk (1955), Frank Thomas (2014), Bill Veeck (1991), Ed Walsh (1946) and Hoyt Wilhelm (1985) as the 15th person in franchise history elected to the Hall of Fame (with the White Sox serving as each of the aforementioned players' "primary" team, according to the Baseball Hall of Fame). From that group, only Baines, Aparicio, Appling, Faber, Lyons, Schalk, Thomas and Walsh began their Hall-of-Fame careers in the White Sox organization.
"So happy for Harold. He's a great player and a great human being," said Jerry Reinsdorf, White Sox chairman. "I am so honored that I was a member of the committee. He deserved to be in long ago. I am just so excited.
"Not only was Harold one of my favorite players to watch, but I have nothing but admiration for him as a player and as a human being. Despite his quiet demeanor, Harold proved to be a great leader amongst his teammates on and off the field. He has been a valuable asset to the White Sox organization in a variety of crucial and important roles, first as a key member of the 1983 American League Western Division Champions to a World Series Champion coach in 2005 to currently serving as a team ambassador for our community relations department. This is a great day for Harold, his family and friends, the White Sox organization, our fans and fans of baseball everywhere."
Baines played 22 seasons with the White Sox (1980-89, '96-97, 2000-01), Texas (1989-90), Oakland (1990-92), Baltimore (1993-95, '97-99) and Cleveland (1999), hitting .289 (2,866-9,908) with 488 doubles, 49 triples, 384 home runs, 1,628 RBI, 1,299 runs scored and 1,062 walks over 2,830 games. He received the 1989 AL Silver Slugger Award for designated hitters and finished in the Top Ten of the AL Most Valuable Player voting twice (1983 and 1985).
Baines ranked among major-league leaders in numerous categories from 1980-2001, including third in RBI and total bases (4,604), fifth in extra-base hits (921), sixth in hits and tied for sixth in doubles. The only other player to rank in the Top 6 of all these categories during that span was Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr.
The left-handed Baines is the only player in major-league history to make 1,000 appearances as a designated hitter and play at least 1,000 games at another position. He ranks all-time among designated hitters in games (2nd, 1,643), hits (2nd, 1,690), runs (3rd, 771), RBI (3rd, 981), doubles (4th, 293) and home runs (4th, 236). Baines is a two-time Designated Hitter of the Year Award winner (1987-88), now called the Edgar Martinez Award.
Baines ranks sixth in the American League since 1974 with 197 game-winning RBI and 401 go-ahead RBI. He owns a career .306 (1,398-4,573) average with runners on base, 31 points higher when batting with the bases empty (.275) in his career. His 1,398 hits with runners on base are the 10th-most in baseball since 1974.
From 1980-99, Baines ranked in the Top 5 in RBI (2nd, 1,583), total bases (3rd, 4,474), extra-base hits (4th, 896), hits (5th, 2,783) and doubles (5th, 474). The only other players to record more hits than Baines during that span were Hall-of-Famers Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Ripken Jr. and Paul Molitor. In his first 20 major-league seasons, Baines recorded at least 115 hits 17 times.
The St. Michael's, Md. native posted a career .324 (33-102) average with four doubles, five home runs, 16 RBI, a .378 on-base percentage and .510 slugging percentage over 31 postseason games. His .324 average during the postseason is the 11th-highest mark since 1969 (minimum 100 at-bats).
Baines, a member of the White Sox Team of the Century, ranks among the franchise all-time leaders in home runs (3rd, .221), RBI (4th, .981), extra-base hits (4th, .585), doubles (5th, 320), slugging percentage (6th, .463), hits (6th, 1,773), games (T7th, 1,670), runs scored (8th, 786), OPS (10th, .809) and walks (10th, 565). He is one of just three players in White Sox history to hit 20-plus home runs in six consecutive seasons (1982-87).
Baines was selected by the White Sox with the first overall pick in the 1977 draft. He made his major-league debut on April 10, 1980 vs. Baltimore. He had his uniform No. 3 retired by the White Sox in 1989 and a statue of Baines was unveiled at Guaranteed Rate Field in his honor in 2008. Baines was on the Sox coaching staff from 2004-15, serving as bench coach for the 2005 World Series Champions.