September 17, 2021

Posnanski: What Harold Baines’ Hall of Fame election might tell us about the cases for this year’s candidates (The Athletic)

Harold Baines was a wonderful player. Full stop. He played 22 years, most of them for the White Sox and Orioles, and he hit .300 eight times, and he was always good for 20 homers and 90 RBIs and even a few triples when he was young. He was called “professional hitter” so many times, that many of us assumed it was his nickname: “Professional hitter Harold Baines.” He finished his career with 2,866 hits and surely would have had 3,000 had his career not been interrupted by two lengthy player strikes. 

When he retired, he left behind an enduring image of what this strange creature called a “designated hitter” actually looked like. If the DH had its own logo, it would be an outline of Harold Baines at the plate.

All that said, it really was a shock last year when the Today’s Game Committee elected Baines to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I didn’t see it coming. I don’t know anyone who did. Yes, looking back, there are signals. It was a somewhat thin field…

Source link