Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Harold Baines TTM Success

Sent: 5/19/2020 | Received: 5/26/2020 | 7 days
1/1: 1982 Donruss
Address: Home (St. Michaels, MD) from SportsCollectors.Net
I don’t want to debate whether or not Baines is worthy of his induction to the Hall of Fame. Baines – who never got more than 6.1 percent of the BBWAA vote in his time on the ballot – is in.

He didn’t reach any of the big milestones like 3,000 hits or 500 homers. His career WAR was 38.7 and had an .820 OPS. However, Baines was a premier player in the 80s with the White Sox. He earned MVP votes each year from 1982 through 1985.

After Chicago traded him midway through the 1989 season, they retired his number (#3), making him only the third player in baseball history to have his number retired while still playing in the big leagues.

He bounced around the A.L. during the 1990s – Rangers, A’s, Orioles, White Sox (again), Orioles (again) and the Indians. In his age 41 and 42 seasons, he’d return to both Baltimore (2000) and Chicago (2000-01) for third tours.

A quick aside on card selection: When sending to players for TTM, I typically opt for a card that best represents how I remember the player. I don’t default to Rookies and, other than the 1981 Fleer Star Sticker set, I don’t prioritize specific sets/designs. In Baines’ case it was a toss up between this and his 1986 Fleer card. Neither depict his trademark high leg kick, so I opted for the ’82 – the year he broke out as a 23-year-old.

Baines was a remarkably consistent hitter and his 162-game average .289 average and 22 home runs looks right at home inserted anywhere in his 22-year career.

He finished a six-time All Star and won a Silver Slugger (1989). He amassed 384 homers, 2,866 hits and 1,628 RBI. He’d win a World Series ring while serving as bench coach for the White Sox in 2005.

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