He's not in the Baseball Hall of Fame, yet, but he's about to become immortal.
The Chicago While Sox announced today that a life-sized sculpture of franchise legend and longtime fan favorite Harold Baines will be unveiled by the Chicago White Sox prior to their game vs. Kansas City on Sunday, July 20 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Baines becomes the seventh White Sox great immortalized in bronze at the ballpark. Sculptures of club founder Charles A. Comiskey and Cuban great Orestes “Minnie” Minoso were unveiled in 2004. Carlton Fisk’s sculpture was installed in 2005, while the famous double-play duo of Luis Aparicio and Nellie Fox was honored with sculptures in 2006. Last season, a sculpture of White Sox pitching star Bill Pierce was unveiled on the concourse near centerfield.
“Harold Baines was the automatic choice for this year’s honor,” said White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “Harold has consistently personified class and professionalism in his approach to the game and his Hall of Fame-caliber skills were wrapped in a very humble, friendly personality. A favorite of White Sox fans when he played, Harold remains popular to this day.”
Baines was drafted by the White Sox in 1977 and made his major league debut in 1980. Over his next 22 seasons in major league baseball, Baines clubbed 384 home runs and drove in 1,628 runs – with 221 of the home runs and 981 of the RBI coming as a member of the White Sox. During that span, Baines was named to the American League All-Star Team six times and finished in the league’s Top 10 for batting average three times.
The White Sox retired uniform No. 3 in 1989, making Baines the only active White Sox player to receive the honor. After being traded to the Texas Rangers in 1989, Baines returned to the White Sox twice, first from 1996-97, then again from 2000-01. Still on the franchise leader board in a number of offensive categories, Baines ranks third in home runs, third in RBI, third in extra-base hits (585), fourth in doubles (320) and fifth in hits (1,773) in franchise history.
Now entering his fifth season on the White Sox coaching staff and third as first base coach, Baines recently became eligible for baseball’s Hall of Fame ballot in 2008.
Source: The Chicago White Sox
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