Baines' totals fall short
December, 3, 2008
Harold Baines a Hall of Famer? Well, no. But he certainly has his supporters:
Those in the know with the White Sox believe Baines deserves a better Hall of Fame fate. Along with Baines' tremendous RBI total, placing him 28th all-time, the left-handed slugger finished with a .289 average, 384 home runs, 488 doubles, 1,299 runs scored, 1,062 walks against just 1,441 strikeouts and a most impressive 2,830 games played. Baines also checks in at 2,866 career hits, ranking him 40th, but also leaving him 134 short of what has been considered the magic number for enshrinement.
This particular number bothers [White Sox owner Jerry] Reinsdorf more so than Baines. [Reinsdorf], who counts Baines as one of his favorite people, feels somewhat personally responsible for Baines coming up short of 3,000.
"What really has bothered me for a long time is that if we hadn't traded him, he would have his 3,000 hits and he would be a lock for the Hall of Fame," said Reinsdorf, who oversaw Baines' trade to Texas on July 29, 1989 and to Baltimore on July 29, 1997. "We traded him twice and into bad situations where he was a platoon player.
"If he stayed with us, he would have gone over 3,000 hits. If he doesn't get in, it would really bug me. I talk to him about it, and he just shrugs it off."