With Harold Baines joining the ranks of the Orioles Hall of Fame this evening, I thought I'd share a few facts that you may or may not know about the soft-spoken Eastern Shore native.
-Hit .532 as a senior at St. Michaels (MD) High School in 1977, and was named an All-American and selected as the first overall pick in the amateur draft by the White Sox.
-Slugged his first career home run on April 19, 1980 off of none other than Jim Palmer.
-Ended the longest game in major league history (eight hours and six minutes and 25 innings, spanning two evenings) by taking Milwaukee pitcher Chuck Porter deep on May 9, 1984.
-Had his number (3) retired by the White Sox while still an active player; they gave him the honor in 1989 after trading him to the Rangers. Harold returned to Chicago for two more stints as a player and one more as a coach, and each time the Sox "unretired" his number.
-Played for the Orioles in three separate stints (1993-1995, 1997-1999, 2000). Dick Williams and Elrod Hendricks are the only other three-time O's.
-Every January 9 in St. Michaels is designated as Harold Baines Day.
-His 1,628 runs batted in are the most of any player eligible for the Hall of Fame who has not been elected.
-The only full seasons in which he did not post an OPS+ of at least 100 (league average) were his rookie season of 1980 (86) and his final full season of 2000 (93).
-123 of his 384 home runs gave his team the lead.