Cooperstown Chronicles – Harold Baines

Feb 18, 2008

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI   

Normally when a guy ranks 40th on the all-time hits list with 2866 (134 away from an automatic bid) with 1628 RBI (26th) I’d say a spot should be waiting for him in Cooperstown.  Harold Baines is the exception.

You’re Out
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
2830 Games (18th All-time)
9908 At Bats (27th All-time)
.289 Batting Average
1299 Runs (114th All-time)
2866 Hits (40th All-time)
488 Doubles (53rd All-time)
49 Triples
384 Home Runs (51st All-time)
1628 RBI (26th All-time)
.465 Slugging %
1062 Walks

Playoffs – 31 games, 102 at bats, 33 hits (.324), 14 runs, 4 doubles, 5 home runs, 16 RBI, 9 walks, .510 slugging percentage.

The Awards
6 All-Star Games
1 Silver Sluggers
MVP votes in 4 seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – Three times
On-base % – Once
Slugging % – Once
OPS – Three times
Games – Three times
At Bats – Twice
Hits – Once
Doubles - Once
Triples - Three times
Home Runs – Once
Total Bases – Twice
RBI – Twice
Intentional Walks – Nine times

I had to remind myself why I don’t think he belongs when I saw his total numbers.  They are impressive.  However, when you look closer you see he never scored 90 runs, had 200 hits, 40 doubles, or 30 home runs.  He only had 100+ RBI on three occasions.  He was good, but never great.  Looking at his lack of awards and top ten finishes only confirms it.  I’d say he only had two really good years (1985 & 1999).  While it is impressive that they came so far apart, it doesn’t merit entry into the Hall of Fame no matter how much I like Harold Baines as a player. 

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)

Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |
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5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Larry Novak
    February 19th, 2008 at 6:11 pm #

    It is the Hall Of Fame. Not the Hall of Quite Good!

  2. Ryan Lester
    February 19th, 2008 at 7:41 pm #

    larry – yep

  3. mike sullivan
    January 28th, 2009 at 11:58 pm #

    I once took a trip to Camden Yards (from Chicago) to see Harold play. It was there that the usher hit the nail on the head when he told me, “You could get Harold off his death bed and he’d still be able to hit.” Harold belongs in the Hall of Fame.

  4. LestersLegends
    January 29th, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    He was a darn fine ball player, but just not HOF material. He was never close to the best player at any time in his career.

  5. Nabsnoldbyday
    August 4th, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    Hi guys -sorry for the delay. This blog above all.

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