COOPERSTOWN, NY (WJZ/AP) — Maryland native and former Orioles hitter Harold Baines has been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Baines was joined by relievers Mariano Rivera and Lee Smith and designated hitter Edgar Martinez as well as former Orioles pitcher Mike Mussina. Baines was born in Easton and went to St. Michaels High School.
The late Roy Halladay was also inducted posthumously.
The soft-spoken Baines never displayed much emotion in his 22-year career, but his voice cracked throughout his speech.
“Somehow I acquired a reputation for not saying much. I’m not sure why,” he deadpanned at the start. “From teachers to coaches who showed me kindness and discipline, I thank you all for what you’ve done for me. If I can leave you with one message, it’s to give back to your community. I stand here very humbled. It has taken time to sink in.”
Harold Baines remembers the importance of the St. Michaels community in his Hall of Fame speech. pic.twitter.com/0n2rFoj6eG
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 21, 2019
Baines, the first overall pick in the 1977 draft by the White Sox, played 22 seasons for the White Sox, Rangers, Athletics, Orioles and Indians, was a six-time All-Star, and twice won the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award. An eight-time .300 hitter who reached the 20-homer mark in 11 seasons, Baines drove in at least 90 runs eight times and ranks 34th on the all-time list with 1,628 RBIs. He retired with 2,866 hits and 1,628 RBIs, one of only 17 players in MLB history to have reached both 2,800 hits and 1,600 RBIs.
Baines saved his last moments to pay tribute to the White Sox and to his family, thanking his mom and dad and wife Marla, who also had to hold back tears.
“You are the true Hall of Famer of our family,” Baines said as he looked out at his wife. “The game has given us a lot of shared moments, memories like today. Your presence here today makes my journey complete.”
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