The Texas Rangers are set to have former player, Harold Baines, inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend in Cooperstown.
Harold Baines’ time with the Texas Rangers was short-lived at best. The long-term big league outfielder was acquired by Texas back in the 1989 season while he was in the midst of an All-Star campaign. Baines played all of 153 games for the Rangers between the 1989 and 1990 seasons, hitting .288 with a .791 OPS in that stretch, before being dealt to the Oakland A’s midway through the 1990 season.
Baines Hall of Fame bid was steeped in a bit of controversy if you’ll remember. In a year that will see Mariano Rivera become the first unanimous selection inducted into the Hall, Baines’ path wasn’t quite as straightforward. Baines, who retired as a member of the Chicago White Sox in 2001, was first eligible to be inducted back in 2007. He fell quite short of the 75% needed for induction never amassing more than 6.1% of votes which came in the 2010 voting process. After receiving just 4.8% of the vote in 2011, Baines name fell of the ballot, failing to reach the 5% minimum to stay on.
However, despite never really being close to being voted in during the traditional process, Baines was voted in by the “Today’s Game Era” vote in December of 2018 alonside Lee Smith. It was surprising for a player who never got even 10% of the vote in the traditional system to get in via “Today’s Game” but the committee felt that Baines’ body of work deserved the Hall of Fame nod.
In 22 years in the MLB, Baines amassed a staggering 2,830 games played, good for 20th all-time. He was a career .289 hitter with an OPS of .820 while playing for 5 different clubs. Across those 22 seasons, he built a 38.7 WAR according Baseball Reference while being selected for 6 All-Star games and a Silver Slugger award at DH back during the 1989 season.
Baines may not be a club legend, and he may have only played 153 games for Texas, but he was a Ranger, and now he’s going into the Hall of Fame.