Harold Baines: Hall of Fame Worthy?
Harold Baines on Baseball Hall of Fame ballot next month.
Harold Baines missed by only 134 hits of reaching 3000 hits. The only players with more hits than Baines that are not in the Hall of Fame are Craig Biggio, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds and Pete Rose.
Baseball-reference.com lists his .289 lifetime batting average as 389th in history. He is 54th in home runs with 384. He is 29th in runs batted in with 1628. Barry Bonds, Frank Thomas and Sammy Sosa are the only retired players not in the Hall of Fame with more runs batted in than Baines.
Lack of Speed, Low OBP
A major minus for Baines is his lack of speed with 34 stolen bases in 22 seasons and was also caught stealing 34 times. Another stat that will hurt him is his .356 on base percentage which is 520th alltime on the list.
He hit very well in the postseason with a .324 average in 102 postseason at bats with five homers and 16 RBI’s. He is not known for his fielding either. One co-worker at the newspaper had driven to Illinois to see the White Sox and he said Baines was a butcher in the outfield.
Two Innings on Defense in Last Nine Seasons
From 1993 to 2001 he spent a total of two innings in the field after becoming a DH so that tells me he was not too good of a fielder.
He led the AL in slugging in 1984 with a .541 percentage. The only time he finished first was when he was oldest player in the AL in 2001.
Stats Compare With Four Hall of Famers
Baseball-reference.com compares his stats with four Hall of Famers, Tony Perez, Al Kaline, Billy Williams and Jim Rice.
Personally I would vote for Baines if I had voting privileges mainly because of his hits, home runs and runs batted in but I can see why a voter that focused on him being a two tool player would not vote for him.
I think Baines is one of the good people in baseball but as much as I would like to see him voted into the Hall of Fame I will be surprised if he gets more than the 5.9 percent of votes he received last year.