Two former Baltimore Orioles are going to the MLB Hall of Fame as of yesterday: Harold Baines and Lee Smith. The duo were voted into the hall by the “Today’s Game Committee. They will be inducted in July.
Baines of course is a native of St. Michael’s, MD. While he spent most of his career with the ChiSox, he had some great years with the Orioles. And there was always a special relationship so to speak, because Baines loved playing in Baltimore since the Orioles were his hometown team. Baines of course was primarily a Designated Hitter, and retired in 2001 with a career average of .289, 2866 hits, and and 384 homers.
Smith played for eight teams in his career, most prominently the Chicago Cubs. He spent 1994 in Baltimore however, which of course was a truncated year due to a players strike. He finished his career with an ERA of 3.03.
Anyone of my generation is going to remember Harold Baines very well, and probably be incredibly happy and proud that he’s going to the hall. He only played for the Orioles for a few seasons, although he seemingly found himself back here several other times after playing in Baltimore for a few seasons in the mid-1990’s. He always loved playing for the Orioles as I said, because he never forgot his Maryland roots.
Baines will undoubtedly go into the Hall as a member of the ChiSox, and rightfully so. But he’s also a Marylander who spent some years with his hometown team. He was always a positive force in the clubhouse, and he was always willing to share his wealth of knowledge with younger players as a veteran. End of the day, whether he’s an Oriole or a White Sox guy, he’s a Marylander. And he’s going to Cooperstown!