Harold Douglass Baines was born in Easton, Maryland, on March 15, 1959. He attended St. Michaels High School where he played baseball, basketball, and soccer and was named a high school All-American.
Promoter and team owner, Bill Veeck, first saw Baines play in a Little League game when he was 12 years old and followed his career until he was eligible for the draft. Baines began his professional baseball career with the Chicago White Sox after being the first player to be selected in the 1977 draft. He led the White Sox to the 1983 American League West title. He quickly became known as a player who could help any team and established himself as one of the best hitters in game.
In addition to the White Sox, Baines played major league baseball for the Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, and Cleveland Indians for 22 seasons. He is ranked seventh in the American League for number of games played (2,830) and tenth in runs batted in (RBI).
He retired from playing baseball in 2001 and went on to coach for the White Sox from 2004-2015. Baines was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.
A Family Tradition
Harold’s late father, Linwood Baines, supported and encouraged his son’s baseball dreams. He played for the Eastern Shore Negro League’s St. Michaels Red Sox starting in 1957, when the league was still segregated. The Red Sox did have two white players. Linwood Baines stated: “We didn’t bar anybody from our league, if the white players wanted to play, we let them. We just wanted to play baseball.”
Harold Baines Day
Harold Baines established a scholarship fund to help deserving college-bound students. His hometown of St. Michaels has designated January 9 as Harold Baines Day.