Harold Baines and Lee Smith have been elected to the National Baseball Hall Of Fame, as announced on the MLB Network. The two longtime veterans were voted in by a 16-member panel reviewing candidates from the “Today’s Game” era (1988-present).
Baines joins Ken Griffey Jr. and Chipper Jones as the only players drafted first overall in the June amateur draft to reach Cooperstown. Selected by the White Sox in 1977 out of St. Michael’s High School in Easton, Maryland, Baines quickly emerged as a threatening left-handed bat, hitting 25 homers and picking up MVP votes as a 23-year-old in 1982, his third Major League season. Baines spent 14 of his 22 MLB seasons with the ChiSox, also spending seven years with the Orioles as well as shorter stints with the A’s, Rangers, and Indians.
The “professional hitter” description seemed permanently attached to any mention of Baines’ name, as he was dangerous at the plate almost to the very end of his lengthy career. Baines was also one of the first players who thrived as a long-term designated hitter, as he more or less became a full-time DH by the late 80’s. Baines’ 2866 hits ranks him 48th on the all-time list, and he also hit 384 homers with a career .289/.356/.465 slash line over 11092 plate appearances.
Smith also held a significant spot in the record books when he retired after the 1997 season, as Smith’s 478 saves were then the all-time record (Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman have since passed him). If Baines was a prototypical DH, then Smith might have been the prototypical example of a closer-for-hire, pitching for eight different teams over his career, often in short stints apart from spending his first eight years with the Cubs.
A seven-time All-Star, Smith finished in the top five in Cy Young Award voting three times, including a second-place finish in 1991 as a member of the Cardinals. The hard-throwing right-hander posted a 3.03 ERA, 8.7 K/9, and 2.57 K/BB rate over 1289 1/3 career innings.
The inductions of Smith and Baines provide an interesting counterpoint to two players poised to enter Cooperstown via the regular writers’ ballot in January — Rivera, widely considered the greatest closer of all time, and Edgar Martinez, arguably the best designated hitter ever. As we’ve seen in past HOF votes, there has been some resistance on the part of the writers to induct players who spent the bulk of their careers in either of the “limited positions” of closer or designated hitter, particularly the latter (given Martinez’s long wait for induction). Smith barely cracked the 50-percent threshold over 15 unsuccessful years on the writers’ ballot, while Baines spent only two years on the writers’ ballot, falling off in 2011 after failing to appear on at least five percent of all ballots.
Similar to the old veterans’ committee, the “Today’s Game” committee looks at candidates (both players and other important non-playing figures in baseball history) who weren’t voted into Cooperstown by the usual means. People from four different eras — Early Baseball, Golden Days, Modern Baseball, and Today’s Game — are considered, with each era being highlighted on a rotating basis.
At least 12 of the 16 votes from the “Today’s Game” committee were required for HOF election, with Baines gaining 12 votes and Smith going a perfect 16-for-16. Longtime manager Lou Piniella fell just short with 11 votes, while the seven other candidates on the ballot (Albert Belle, Joe Carter, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel, George Steinbrenner) each received four or fewer votes.
And the watering down of the Hall continues.
What are talking about? Let Smith should have been 15 years ago.
More in reference to Baines.
2,866 hits, 1,628 RBI, 488 HRs. Granted, this is over a 22 year career and a lot of it as a DH but he did have impressive batting and on base averages. At the time Baines was playing, 488 was very close to the magic 500 that ensured enshrinement. And being 134 hits shy of 3,000 says a lot, as well.
Where are you getting 488 from?
He had 488 Doubles.
It says nothing as to what kind of player he was, and says everything about longevity being his reason for Enshrinement. It says he had a 22 year career in which he could make contact, and nothing more.
His career WAR is 38.4. His single season high was 4.0. That’s not Hall of Fame caliber play.
You’re a little off on the HR total. Baines should be in the Hall of Really Good. He never had a 30 HR season. He only drove in 100 three times. He wasn’t a good fielder. He’s like your typical #5 or #6 guy in your lineup. He was good, but not HOF worthy. His counting stats aren’t bad if you look at his hits, but that’s all he really has going for him.
The doubles column…because I screwed-up what I was looking at.
The RBI total is very good, too; 34th all time. In Baines’ day, he was a tough out and a heart-of-the-order bat [he was the #3/#4 man in the line-up in 62% of the games he started] so it isn’t right to call him a typical #5 or #6 hitter. You’re right, though, none of that necessarily makes him HoF worthy. And as another reader above points out his limited amount of career WAR. I’m just playing devil’s advocate and doing a ****ty job of it since I can’t seem to tell the difference between 2Bs & HRs.
One part of WAR has always confused me. Harold Baines played 100% of his games from 1993-96 as a designated hitter. If a designated hitter is strictly an offense only position, why did Harold Baines earn NEGATIVE dWAR’s those years (93, -1.1; 94, 0.8; 95, -1.1; 96, -1.0)? He also didn’t play a single game on defense from 1998 until he retired in 2001 and earned a negative dWAR every single year.
I believe Crime Dog had a better nod than Baines….well if Baines in then Jaime Moyer is next.
Can I point out that WAR numbers aren’t very kind to specialty players like closers and designated hitters, because they don’t spend much time on the field. The good ones have a disproportionate effect on the outcome of games, however, and should be recognized.
The way the game is played today, even starters will have a hard time putting up HOF numbers. Many times, they enter the game after a reliever, and are gone after twice through the order. Wins, complete games, and innings pitched, all HOF considerations, will be less than previous years.
It’s also harder to hit the baseball these days, with analytics, shifts, and the increased use of specialty relievers holcing batting averages down near all time lows.
Fred Mcgriff was better than Baines in most categories. Not saying Baines isnt a hall of famer, but the crime dog should have been in years ago.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Well if Jack Morris, Alan Trammell, and Don Sutton are in…and if Wade Boggs is deemed first ballot for his 2000+ singles…welcome to the club!
I hope you’re not being critical of Trammel being in the HOF; that would cast doubt on your BB acumen.
You just compared a pair of World Series MVP’s to Harold Baines.
Think about that for a second…
Dumpster Divin Theo
Oh gee. World Series MVPs. Would that be Ben Zobrist, Scott Brosius, Edgar Renteria or Jermaine Dye?
Dumpster Divin Theo
I personally like Trammell, but im also in favor of a more inclusive hall. You gotta admit the precedent had been set when the likes of Rice, Dawson, and Perez got in as well. With Trammell in, maybe there’s hope for Lou Whitaker, and the likes of Edgar Renteria and Jay Bell
So, who’s in your HOF, boss? Dave Kingman? Darrell Evans? Get the hell out of here. If you don’t think Boggs is a first ballot Hall of Famer then your viewpoint of the game is obviously flawed and I feel sorry for you.
Trammell had 71 career WAR. He should be a HoF by anybody’s standards. He had 6 seasons of 6.0+ WAR and was one of the best 3B in baseball for an extended period of time.
Whitaker is a tougher sell as he was never as elite as Trammell but he was very good for a long time.
Clearly you know nothing about the game if you don’t think Lee Smith is a HOFer and shouldn’t have been in years ago.
I guess nobody else knew anything about the game for 20 years? Because it’s been that long since Smith retired.
It was only a matter of time. The thing that they always said that hurt his cause had nothing to do with his numbers. More of the fact that he played for so many teams. Again, clearly aren’t very attentive.
And the first 5 years after you retire you are not eligible for HOF
Houston We Have A Solution
Lee Smith is probably one of the greatest long man ever. 60 sonething games 100 or so innings pitched. Didnt start the game.
He was getting 2 and 3 winning saves before Mariano and the weekend (kenley Jansen) made it a thing.
Dont ever compare lee smith to Rivera, you’ll just look like an idiot.
if my memory serves me correctly lee was the all time saves king with 300+ saves until hoffman then mario passed him in the late 90’s early 00’s. imo yes he deserves to be in the hall just like ted simmons
One of the greatest relievers ever and a quiet man who didn’t give loud opinions to reporters, if even say much to them at all, unlike some others that can be named off pretty easily.
Lee Arthur long deserved enshrinement. Sure, would have been nice to see it done years ago, but at least it happened within his lifetime..
How is it watering down when Hall of Famers are the one doing this voting?
Because they are friends with the players they are voting on thus very biased?
Guess you don’t want it hard on merit.
No it is on merit
Being voted in by your peers is the ultimate honor, and everyone knows how critical the existing members are to begin with, particularly the old school HOFers. You just sound like an idiot with that statement.
How do you think Rizzuto made it in?
so your talking about just 16 guys. 3 of them managed baines. you cant tell me if tony larussa stands up and makes his case for why he should get in, someone is going to call him out and tell him hes wrong. they might have a discussion about it but its a lot easier to “swing the jury” when you have 3 guys in the room advocating for you. baines couldnt get more than 6% of votes from writers but than in this meeting he gets 75% of the votes? having players or managers vote for things isnt always that great. just ask blake snell why he wasnt on the original all star roster this year
Watering down my rump. With suspected PED abusers already in, such already began. Baines is a surprise to me given his stats as a DH. Smith? Long overdue in my book. Maybe this will open it up for others who get dwarfed by sabermetric nerdy stats but are at least equally as worthy. I’m talking about Evans, Tiant, Munson, Garvey, Cooper, Hernandez, Albert Bell, Reggie Smith and some others mainly from the 70s.
Don’t forget Dave Concepcion. He was the best shortstop in baseball for an entire decade (70s).
Conception I believe is in already.
Wrong I was unless the Caribbean HOF counts. Overlooked because of Morgan, Bench, Rose and Perez. Even George Foster sometimes gets thought of before Concepcion who definitely is HOF worthy.
Concepcion, Garvey and Dewey belong in the hall.
No, no and maybe
Weaselpuppy, are you going off stats or are you old enough to remember? 3,000 hits and/or 500 Hrs used to be automatic but PED use and in my view a juiced ball have rendered them far less important. Two Houston stalwarts of recent times come to mind, Biggio and Bagwell. Neither to me belong in the Hall. Going back to the partial list I mentioned, where would Cuban players be today if Tiant didn’t open the door? As much as I push him and Evans, the biggest omissions I see are Bell and Munson. The writers did not elect Bell and Munson in mainly because of their personalities but there was no question regarding their on field exploits. Munson although his career was cut short, was a ROTY, MVP, multi-year all-star and the most feared batter in the Yankees’ lineup (sorry Reggie but in a key spot, you got your chances because teams often would not let Munson beat them). He also was the team captain for a reason. Stats and on/off field importance of Munson easily matches that of Kirby Puckett.
I get it that you’re a Munson fan, but to say he was the most feared hitter in the NYY lineup is absurd. In 1978 for instance his OPS+ was 101, with 6 HRs. Nobody fears that kind of hitter.
A good hitter for a long time, but Reggie was the Big Kahuna on that team.
Just MHO but advanced metrics were non-existent then. REG-GIE would have been fine today, HR, walk or SO guy. Remember Billy Martin hated him and dropped him in the order. Munson hit over .400 in the 76 series. I’m actually a Risk guy but after he died upon reflection. his respect just grew in my head.
Agreed on Baines.
You’re a D bag
4 in the Hall of Fame- 1 is not, Harold Baines. 5 years on ballot highest 6.1% of vote. The five are named below. Baines’stats are listed fourth.
yrs games ABS r H 2B 3B HR RBI BA SB slg
18 2488 9350 1410 2711 434 88 426 1475 .290 34 .492
21 2627 9927 1373 2774 503 98 438 1591 .279 314 .482
23 2777 9778 1272 2732 505 79 379 1652 .279 49 .463
22 2830 9908 1299 2866 488 49 384 1628 .289 34 .465
22 2834 10116 1622 3007 498 75 399 1582 .297 137 .480
Al Kaline .987
Harold Baines .978
Andre Dawson .983
Billy Williams .976
Tony Perez .987
Dumpster Divin Theo
Compelling case. Thx for sharing
Almost 2900 hits? Please!
370 HR, 1274 RBI’s, 8xAll Star, 3xGolden Glove and still not in the Hall of Fame – number 14 on your scorecard, number 1 in your heart – GIL HODGES
Thanks MLB for the good laugh tonight..
Why is Harold Baines a HOFer?
Because he was voted in?
The same question can be asked why is bud selig in the hof and why was he the first ever inductee to get 100% of the votes. Another question is who the right mind would leave Griffey Jr off their ballot. Some writers just dont deserve to vote for things like these.
Because he was basically a season from having 3000 hits and 400 homers
Fuck Me Bitch
Harold Baines played 22 years and had a WAR of 38.7, an average of 1.7 per year, which doesn’t even qualify him as a consistent starter, let alone a Hall of Famer.
It appears he was rewarding for putting on the spikes and playing above average for 2830 games.
I don’t know if that makes him HOF worthy, but I think that is an underappreciated “skill,” for lack of a better term.
When is Martinez getting in, greatest (Non-Ped) DH ever
The award is named after him such BS right there.
“Best hitter who can’t field to save his life” award
Edgar was actually a positive rated defender. He wasn’t moved off third because he had a bad glove.
Truth. Edgar was an average fielder who got hurt every time he jogged on the infield grass.
Edgar DEF HOF worthy.
I love it people chime about who they think did/didn’t use PED’s. When in all reality, the only people we actually know that took them got caught or admitted using. Other than that, NO ONE knows who did/didn’t take them, unless someone has inside knowledge.
Amen! Edgar Martinez could of just as easily been a PED user. I don’t think he was but the point is, no one knows. When Dee Gordon popped hot my entire view changed and I realized that there is so much taint and uncertainty that we should reserve judgement for qualified reps at the pearly gates and just enjoy the sport until a definitive means for testing comes out. Bonds HOF? If Baines is in, then the place is a joke without Bonds.
You can read stories and make educated guesses with some.
Jurors make their decisions on the presented evidence part of which is credibility. Anyone remember Bagwell in the minors with Boston stuck behind Boggs and Scott Cooper? Nothing like the guy who played in Houston. He just matured and filled out? I think not…
when you say “inside knowledge” you mean like when jose canseco wrote in his book that he personally injected pudge with peds?
He’s getting in this year. He’s currently been on 100 percent of released ballots and has already had at least 4 or 5 adds i believe.
Xab, I would disagree in that I consider Frank Thomas more a DH than anything else and I think you would agree as great as EM was, the Big Hurt was better.
Means Martinez and other DH’s gets in Hall.
I’m good with both.
Old User Name
Smith definitely, Baines not so much.
AB AVG HR RBI SB OPS: 7213 .312 309 1261 49 .933
Edgar is still on the MLB Writer’s ballot, and those results will be announced the third week of January. This vote is from the Veteran’s committee or whatever they’re calling it now. No need to freak out.
Does this mean Tony Oliva is getting in soon?
Tony O’s wrecked knees ruined his career. A shame for those of us who remember seeing him play. Dwight Evans another (along with Tony O) won’t make it that wasn’t quite Hall worthy and there is more… Billy Buckner, Johnny Damon come to mind right off the top of my head.
Bill Buckner isn’t even close to HOF worthy. 22 year career, 15.1 WAR. No power, didn’t get on base, marginal defensive player. Dewey, I agree with.
He received 69% his first year of eligibility. Then started to go down. Batting Champion his first two years in the big leagues. A total of three.
Umm Johnny Damon?
If baines is in, why not johnny?
Fuck Me Bitch
He played 7 fewer years than Baines because of a knee injury yet his WAR is 4.4 more than Baines.
I thought Oliva was on the edge, probably didn’t play enough, but now I think because of Baines getting in Oliva ought to get in.
I used to long ago lump together Oliva, Cha Cha Rodriquez and Vada Pinson figuring at some time all 3 would get in after retirement because they were all such a force with the bat.
Both Cepeda and Oliva had the misfortune of wrecking their knees, while Pinson was just one of the finest CF’s in the game for a decade and OF’ers (in a ll facets) in general, over shadowed by multiple HOF players currently playing at that time in the NL (aaron, Clemente etc), not to mention, Cinci wasn’t exactly a hot bed of media coverage then.
Think he still deserves the call and I’ve been waiting on it for decades to happen
Houston We Have A Solution
Harold Baines man dude had great plate discipline which is a lost art in today’s game. Struck out in like 1/10 at bats his entire career.
And the Hall of the Very Good continues to add to its ranks.
Create your own Hall then. Buy a building and put some pictures up. It’s a shrine for the greats, for hitting, defense, pitching, relieving, or longevity. They were good enough to be voted in by writers or by their fellow peers.
If you don’t like it, be a HOF player and show them up or be a better writer and vote. If you’re not capable of either then just enjoy the game and the greats that have played it for you.
Wow, talk about overreacting.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Preach on! The truth!
Nope. The Hall of Fame added to its ranks and the metaphorical Hall of Very Good lost two members. Whether anyone likes it or not, both Lee Smith and Harold Baines are now Hall of Fame baseball players and deserve the same respect as any other HOFer.
I agree with Smith, but Baines? A very good hitter. But him before Martinez?
Martinez wasn’t even on this ballot. Read the details man.
If Baines got in, Mussina should def get in since we’re talking about hall of very good.
Mussina has HoF numbers. Not HoVeryGood numbers.
Anyone who doesn’t think Moose is a HOFer should probably try to pitch in the AL East during the steroid era.
Had Lee stayed with one franchise for an extended run, I think he’d have gotten in years ago.
Baines is a stretch.
Great Expos like Carter, Dawson, and Raines should be the talent cutoff for the Hall.
Congrats to both, but I literally went the Baines’ baseball reference page and have stared at it for 20 minutes and other than years played NOTHING jumps out to me as Hall of Fame consideration, let alone enshrinement. Congrats, though—-great honor. This should raise the hopes of many (Mattingly, Murphy, Martinez……)
2,866 hits doesn’t JUMP OUT at you for HOF consideration? Since 3,000 hits is a shoe-in, I guess the cutoff for HOF consideration is 2,900 hits. Thanks for your input!
not if it took him 22 years to do it
22 years. you have to be good to play for 22 years. if he wasn’t, any other nameless replacement could have taken his roster spot.
Why do people think longevity is a bad thing? Cal Ripken became a HOFer simply by playing every day. It would be one thing if Harold Baines’s dad owned the team and put his son out there for 22 years, but that’s not the case. Baines earned his way onto a major league baseball team for 22 years. And he was one of the best hitters in the game for the first half of his career. Sure he had a significant decline in his later years, but so did Tim Raines and he is in the Hall. Baines might not be YOUR particular definition of a Hall of Fame player, but he is a Hall of Fame player. Since he is, your definition of a Hall of Fame player probably needs to change.
Lol, are you a pudding head?
So Ripkins ROY, 2 MVPs, 8 Silver sluggers and multiple Gold gloves while playing SHORT STOP have nothing to do with it, just playing for so long?
Lol, go wipe up your drool.
Longevity, swinging a bat!
Dumpster Divin Theo
A number of those years were cut short to chronic knee injuries during his prime years which forced him to DH the 2nd half of his career. Otherwise he likely would have been lock for 3000/400. Yet, he continued to contribute. He didnt simply paid his counting stats a la Julio Feanco. .910 OPS in year 20 at the age of 40!
So he missed by 34 hits in your book and should be shunned?
By that logic Jose Canseco is a HOFer because he almost hit 500 HR.
Agree on Baines getting in not Conseco
Nothing jumps out? Other than playing major league ball for 20 years, 2866 hits, 488 doubles .289 career hitter 1600 RBI or 1300 runs..lol good grief. What’s the average major league career? 6 years? Lol
I’m not disagreeing with you—-but other than the number of years played—nothing jumps out. The only time he led the league in anything was ONCE he led the league in slugging. He was top ten in MVP voting TWICE (10th once and 9th the other). By longevity, OK, he’s worthy. But by your numbers for 20 years, he averaged about 140 hits a season, 25 doubles, 80 RBI—-all good to better than good, but Hall of Fame?? Murphy, Martinez, Mattingly were all better players. If the average career is six years should everyone that plays 15 get in the Hall?
I really looked because I remember his as very good, but really never considered him in THAT category. I took the time to try to find something (a dominant five year stretch—-leading the league in something multiple times—-just not there).
Stare at it for 20 more minutes…
Harold Baines was Consistent and Valuable, but he didn’t match his value with his consistency. The quantity of his numbers are arguably HOF worthy, but that alone is, IMO, not enough to justify a induction.
RBI/Run totals are almost completely useless, since you need 8 other hitters in order to drive or be driven in.
Hits and Doubles do have value, but how much? If the argument is the quantity, then does that mean if a replacement level player reaches 3’000 hits or 500 doubles, he deserves a spot up with Ty Cobb or Cal Ripken? How valuable are all those hits compared to other DH’s like David Ortiz or Jim Rice?
If your going to throw out numbers like that, then you need to give your argument(s) some context. Otherwise, your only convincing yourself that your right.
I guess, all I’d say is, when someone mentions his name, I remember him as a consistent baseball player for a long time, years ago, was he great? No. But there are thousands of players I don’t remember at all. But also, maybe he was a great teammate, and a true pro in the clubhouse and with management, and in the community as well, and put up consistent numbers throughout his career, so you knew what you were getting, year in, year out. His numbers really aren’t that bad either, not great but good, It’s easy for us to judge, I played bantam AAA ball, lol and that’s as far as I got. Lol
Dumpster Divin Theo
Fair point, but the hall should accommodate players for longevity and consistency. Else it would be celebrating the likes of Mark Fidyrich and Joe Charboneau, and not Morris, Trammell, Sutton, etc
So in your world, I guess Al Oliver gets in next year?
Same here, definitely don’t understand why Baines should even be considered
Check our the HOF statistics part of his page. He’s well below the average in every category. For example, he has about half the WAR of the average HOFer and only 3 blank ink compared to 27 of the average HOFer. Forget the Hall of Fame, he barely qualifies for the Hall of Very Good.
Couldn’t be happier for Lee Smith. He was the standard bearer for relievers for years. Well deserved!
Old User Name
Not on the ballot.
Blaine’s was a great hitter but not even close to being a hall of famer and definitely not before Edgar even though I don’t think Edgar was a hall of famer either.
Baines played on a lot of bad White Sox teams made a lot of all star teams by being the best player on a bad team somebody had to represent them.
Nice guy though when I was young went to a Mariners White Sox game and used to wait where the visiting players would go to the bus. He came out early and we struck up a conversation and he took my ball back to the locker room and had the whole team sign it for me.
what team does Lee Smith represent or for that matter Baines?
For Smith I say Cardinals. For Baines I’d say White Sox.
Did you read the headline? “CHICAGO LEGENDS. Smith played 8 years in Chicago and 4 in STL. Why would he go in as a Cardinal?
Is he in the Cards HOF? Is he even eligible for the Cards HOF? I know the Cards fans consider every player a true Cardinal once they play a game in the uniform.
Really, no one gives a crap.
You must not know many Cardinals fans. Some of them even disown players who were drafted by and starred for the Cardinals like J.D. Drew. Dexter Fowler would be the current non-Cardinal who still plays for the Cardinals.
Cubs and White Sox. I’m confident that it’s a slam dunk.
Smith =Cubs, not even close
Smith’s best years and longest tenure were with the Cubs. Baines will be wearing a White Sox logo surely.
Mike Mussina, Kevin Brown and Scott Rolen need to get in too via this method.
I can see the argument for Lee Smith. But Harold Baines? On the ballot for 5 years, highest vote level 6.1%. A very fine hitter, 121 OPS+, but not an exceptional one, 38.7 career WAR
Putting aside the steroid eligibles, you have some terrific players getting voted on who have not made it, Edgar, most glaring, but Mussina and Schilling, Walker. Even Fred McGriff–I’d take McGriff on a roster any day over Baines.
I know, it’s a parallel system, but selections like this do no favor to the process.
You know this isn’t voted on by the writers right guys? This is the veterans committee that is made of guys who played the game that are in the Hall. So they actually know more than the writers trying to fix mistakes of the past.
They actually don’t a lot of the time – it’s quite remarkable how badly a lot of players are at analyzing the game they were great at playing. Kinda like how Joe Morgan championed low-OBP players when his was always sky high.
4 of the people on this committee had personal ties to Baines. It isn’t a shock how he got in.
only thing Harold Baines should get in the HOF for is being traded for Sammy Sosa
Alabama Braves Fan 8
Maybe Dale Murphy can get some love now!
I second that.
Third. He’s 50 times the player Baines was.
He was good, loved watching him as a kid, he played on some really bad teams which probably didn’t help.
Wait, both these guys started in 1980, but the rule is “1988 onwards” what???
And both of them were still playing in 1988 and beyond.
I look forward to Matt Holliday being inducted in 2040
Why not? He already has 10 more fWAR than Baines in about half the plate appearances.
John Franco, you have a chance.
Happy for those guys. Growing up in 80’s Chicago, I got to see both play quite often. Which is why I’m really surprised they got in. Great guys for sure. But HOF? Eh, not in my book.
Dale Murphy needs in if Baines is in..
Harold Baines has the great fortune of beginning his career at age 20 and collecting stats over 20 mostly non eventful seasons. He never finished in the top 8 in mvp voting, never hit more than 30 homers in a season, only had three seasons with more than 100 rbi, played in one World Series, had 34 steals in his entire career, was a poor fielder. Nice career. Doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame.
If you can play 22 years and average 130 hits a year, you too can be a HOF.
Fuck Me Bitch
OPS above .850 FOUR TIMES in 22 years (in years he qualified). Not Hall of Fame material.
Well, how many people have done that?
Check out Dave Parker’s numbers and tell me Harold Baines belongs in the HOF over him
I’ve always been an advocate for Lee Smith for HOF. He was as good as Gossage, Sutter, et al. who are already in.
I’m not sure about Baines. To me he is the “Hall of Very Good,” but there are already a couple of dozen guys who are in the HOF who weren’t as good as him, so I don’t really have a problem with it.
If Harold Baines gets i the HOF then Andruw Jones deserves to be in and soon
Totally agree. Harold is by all accounts a good dude and very solid MLBer but Lee is the HOFer.
You know what though Baines getting in I believe is justified by Biggio being in. If Biggio could be in by accumulating stats Baines I guess could too. Baines was a better player than Biggio.
Not nearly as good as Mattingly, Hernandez or Murph though. Maybe this gets them in. Baines was there with them though none of them were head & shoulders better but better none the less.
Baines wasn’t even close to Biggio. Biggio played multiple positions well. 400 steals. 668 doubles. 3060 hits. Power. Do you even watch the game?
Biggio was a below avg C and a so-so CF. Baines was a pretty good RF before multiple knee surgeries ruined his defensive career. What are you gonna do? You’re both wrong.
Never knew Biggio played CF
Biggio played C, CF and then became a 4x GG 2B. I’m not a big believer in GG, that’s why guys like Edmonds and A. Jones will get overlooked for the HOF because they played at a time when they both won GG in the same year even when playing the same position. But don’t tell me I’m wrong when Biggio clearly could be put in about 4 positions on the field and not embarrass himself.
Not better than Biggio. He’s a DH
Biggio has almost twice the career fWAR because stole 400+ bases and there was something about actually playing in the field his whole career.. Biggio is a borderline Hall of Famer. Baines shouldn’t even be on the ballot.
Though I liked Lee Smith and Harold Baines they are NOT HOFers. This lowers the bar for a lot of players.
How did Steinbrenner not get put in?
I bet Lee Smith ain’t taking a nap now.
I get Mariano Rivera but these closers pitch about 65 innings a year or roughly what an everyday player plays in the first week of the season.
Closers deal consistently with the highest pressure situations day in and day out. That needs to count for something.
“count for something”? Right, The Rolaids award.
This isn’t true unless they pitch themselves into trouble starting the 9th with the bases empty.
Rich Hill’s Elbow
I’m sorry, but the HOF really needs to up their standards because there’s no way Harold Baines is a HOFer. Even in bulk his numbers don’t add up to pre-advanced stats Cooperstown standards (3000 hits/500 hr/300 win/etc) so what’s the deal here?? At least this means Olivia, McGriff, and Belle will finally get in.
George Steinbrenner, warts and all, was one of the most influential components to the progress of the entire sport. He was a genuine humanitarian despite that side of him not being shown much. As a long-time Yankee fan, I have nothing but admiration for the guy considering his tenacity to field a winning team. He “technically” never broker any laws and fans from other teams all would wish to give them a winning product year after year.
I was an early 20’s guy in the 90’s, having attended two WS games, and being at old Yankee stadium in 99 when they won game 4 (seated 3 rows back from Paul O’Neil). I wish every fan could experience that. I also remember going to the game (can’t remember against who) on the night of September 10th, 2001. It was canceled/rained out. Had the game played and I went to work a little later the next day on WS, who knows. But I wound up back at Yankee stadium 2 weeks later when George opened the doors to all first responders. He was a leader in the game. He is absolutely deserving of a spot in the Hall of Fame.
You know, they have this thing now, called the internet, where one can research things before just shooting off one’s mouth.
In 1974, Steinbrenner pleaded guilty to making illegal contributions to Nixon’s re-election campaign, and to a felony charge of obstruction of justice. He was pardoned by Reagan in 1989.
If you are going to be so lazy or stupid not to even get the facts right, don’t bother posting
Comrade Tipsy McStagger
And I never liked the way he treated George Costanza.
Thanks for the tip! Just found a great article about big foot on the internet.
since the hof is watered down, let’s open the flood gate and let pete rose in
Fuck Me Bitch
And Pete Maravich too!
I’m a big hall guy and a White Sox fan, so Baines’s inclusion doesn’t bother me. That said, I don’t think I could argue that he’s truly deserving of this.
Baines is in but Marvin Miller isn’t? Today’s Game as we know it with player rights would not exist (and this website would have nothing to predict free agent-wise) it is if he hadn’t gotten involved and changed the world of sports from his work with Curt Flood on forward. If today’s writers can get anything right, they ought to acknowledge the man who changed the way everyone looks at the game.
curt flood should be in
Flood and Miller should go in together.
the reason lee smith was never voting in because of his biggest moment is giving up the home run to steve garvey in the 1984 playoffs costing the cubs a world series appearance.. i am surprised by harold baines..
That’s silly. One bad moment doesn’t make a guy a HOFer or not
Babe Ruth got caught stealing to lose a WS. Walter Johnson blew a lead in Game 7 of a WS and lost. Mariano lost game 7 of a WS.
Does anyone who says “but Baines gets in before Edgar” realize that Edgar is currently on the writers ballot, while Baines was voted in by the players committee? Read the article please.
Baines’ induction now pushes writers to vote for Edgar if that was the committee’s intention.
I thought Trammell getting in last year was bad. But Harold Baines? That’s just silly.
The only thing wrong with Trammell getting in last year was that he wasn’t joined by Whitaker…
1) RBI is a flawed measure. Baines played on some truly awful White Sox teams in the 80s, it’s not his fault there wasn’t anyone on base.
2) Yes he only had 100 three times, but he has 88+ nine times, so it’s not like he had a bunch of 60 RBI years.
3) WAR is misleading with DH because they don’t contribute defensively. DH is a position whether you like it or not and to say that someone who is probably in the top 5 best at his position all time is watering down the HOF is absurd. Cross apply to Lee Smith and Edgar Martinez.
4) There’s something to be said for being well above average for 22 seasons. Career OPS+ of 121 for 20+ years is pretty impressive.
no stat is irrelevant
WAR isn’t misleading for a DH. The lack of defensive contribution is part of the calculation.
Baines isn’t a top 5 DH all time either. He’s 9th or 10th maybe. Martinez, Thomas, Thome, Molitor, and Ortiz are pretty firmly entrenched as the top 5 and Baines couldn’t carry any of their bats. Martinez, Thomas, Thome, and Ortiz all has wRC+ numbers over 140. Molitor was the closest to Baines at 122 wRC+ but he also stole 500+ bases and added tons of value as a baserunner that Baines didn’t.
I agree, to a point, that being above average (I wouldn’t say a 119 wRC+ is well above for a DH) is something worth noting. When all you do is hit though you need to stand out to be a Hall of Famer and Baines just didn’t do that. He lead the league in slugging % one time in 22 years. He never lead in any other category. The highest MVP finish he had was 9th. He was never the best player on his team, much less one of the best players in the league at any point in his career. Great guy, good player, shouldn’t be a Hall of Famer.
It’s a shame Baines isn’t alive to enjoy this. I know he and Hawk Harrelson are looking down from heaven smiling though.
is this some sort of misdirected sarcasm?
Baines is alive.
Uh, no he’s not. That’s 99% of the reason he got in. The voters always vote players in right after they die. Rest In Peace “Medium Hurt”. Better late than never!
Baines is 65th all time in HR, rough count there are only about a dozen people ahead of him or are eligible and not tainted by steroid accusations but not in.
I don’t get a vote but Smith had been overlooked far to long, Baines was a good hitter and playing 22 years piled up numbers. Now the cases of Bill Buckner and Al Oliver could be much like Baines, maybe Vada Pinson also ? Guys close to 3000 hits also and Pinson had all the tools in his prime.
Marc (Phillies Phan)
Al Oliver has a better case though in this regard: .303 batting average is much better than a .279 BA. His WAR is not much better, but he did it in 18 years. I am iffy, but lean “no”. However, I could not argue it too badly.
Buckner was a good player (forget 1986). But by the numbers, Baines was a better player. Neither should be in.
Both of these are bad selections; the problem with the Hall is that bad selections pave the way for other bad selection; if Smith is in, then Wagner and Henke and etc. should be in; there are at least 50 hitters better than Baines not in the Hall, probably more.
I don’t know if I buy into the whole “clutch” idea, but if I do at all, it’s because of a guy like Baines. I’m telling you, as a Cubs fan, not Sox, I saw a lot of Baines, and he was such a tough out, especially with RISP. When they used to maintain a stat called GWRBI, he was routinely at or near the top. And prior to becoming a full-time DH, he was a solid Of’er with a strong arm. I’m not sure he belongs in the Hall – maybe the Hall of the Very Good, but there are players like him already enshrined. Tony Perez comes to mind, for ex. Jim Rice is another. If they belong, then so does Harold Baines.
Perez and Rice were both much better players than Baines.
Baines? Pfff. Nah. Big Lee Smith? Hells yeah
As for Lee Smith, all I can say is the Save is one of the worst stats ever invented. Jerome Holtzman is responsible for this travesty of a meaningless metric. At least Big Lee pitched more than one inning, but overall, I say the save is really dumb. I wouldn’t put any reliever in the Hall if it were up to me.
worst stat is getting a quarterback sack credited when the quarterback fumbles
Or setting an all time sack record by having the QB fall to the ground and let you touch him.
Baines?! Are you kidding me? Maybe the worst hof selection I’ve seen in my lifetime. Concepcion, Dwight Evans and Garvey, among others, should expect phone calls soon.
What makes a Hall of Famer? Being voted in, one way or another. There is no other objective standard that qualifies one for the HOF other than having at least a 10 year career. Baines and Smith are HOF’ers because the Today’s Era Committee said so. So you can all have your opinions on the worthiness of these inductions, but our opinions don’t mean a whole lot. And IMO (which also does not mean a lot) I would love the HOF to loosen things up. A lot of very good players have been left out of the HOF because of an overly tight and romanticized standard of what constitutes a HOF’er. And hopefully this starts to break down the biased against DH’s and relief pitchers.
Unless you’re Dizzy Dean or Addie Joss; then you don’t even need ten seasons.
Dizzy Dean pitched in 12 seasons. (They don’t have to be complete seasons).
You should look it up. Dean pitched four full seasons, a couple partial seasons, and two seasons in which he played in one game each. And his numbers aren’t remotely Hall-worthy.
Oops; correction: Dean pitched 5 full seasons, one half-season, 3 very abbreviated seasons, and three seasons in which he pitched in exactly one game each, throwing a total of 14 inning in those three seasons combined. Huge peak but his career was just way too short
And I disagree – I don’t want the MLB HOF to turn into the NFL or NBA Hall, where like 18 guys are inducted each year because they played more than ten seasons. Inducting Baines when Dwight/Darrell Evans and Rusty Staub and Al Oliver and Graig Nettles and Edgar and Dick Allen aren’t in is absurd. (And I don’t think any of those guys should be in, frankly, although I could get behind Edgar and, to a lesser extent, Dick Allen.)
The NFL only selects 5 players a year, not 18.
Baines is a terrible selection. His numbers are just not HOF worthy at all. I can see the argument for Lee either way but I’m not voting for him if I’ve got a vote.
The Hall of Pretty Good just got bigger…
The Hall of Fame is now complete with Harold Baines In.
– No one
Very happy Smith got in but the fact that Baines and Morris are in when Orel, Whittaker, Lofton, Garvey, Rose, Posada, and Keith Hernandez arent is a joke.
Marc (Phillies Phan)
Phillies2017 – I am kinda with you. I don’t believe all that you mentioned should be in the HOF, but I do think most are better players. Keith Hernandez and Lou Whitaker, are HOFers if I had a vote. Steve Garvey is very comparable to Baines. Hence, if Baines is in, so is Garvey LOL
But I got your point and I like it.
I’m surprised you didn’t list Mattingly. Because most people do. Mattingly’s career stats are shockingly similar to Cecil Cooper, but no one ever mentions Cooper when talking about the HOF.
But neither of them deserves to in the HOF. Neither does Baines.
Marc (Phillies Phan)
Mattingly’s career was cut short. I am unopposed to him being in, but it is hard to justify him ONLY because of the shortened career and the fact that the Yankees teams were mediocre when he played on them. They were good right before him and right after him. That said, he was a good player and that was no reflection on him.
Smith? Yes. Baines? No.
Sorry, I don’t think Baines is HoF worthy.
Marc (Phillies Phan)
I am surprised Baines got in, and more so. I am surprised by how much. Albert Belle (while not a nice guy) had similar numbers in a shorter period.
Reading though comments: Lee Smith deserved it beforehand. He is THIRD on the all time saves list and the first two are (and/or will be) in the HOF. Is he a Hoffman or Rivera quality? No, but he did it when closers were coming up.
Joe Carter made me cry.
I never expected Charlie to get in, but it was nice. I thought Lou Pinella would make it in though. I would have said Pinella and Smith.
Steinbrenner definitely deserves a spot in the Hall. He is one of the most influential individuals in the games history, without ever playing an inning! But Baines gets in!? What a joke.
Marc (Phillies Phan)
driftcat28 – I am a ‘no’ on both. More for Steinbrenner’s 1990s actions. While I did not think he should have been banned permanently, it is one thing to dig up dirt on some, but another to do it with a bookie. 1919?
It’s not the hall of longevity and being fortunate to be injury free.. 38 career WAR at DH isn’t really that good.. when you say this guy is a hall of fame caliber player.. it’s not Harold Baines. I’d take many more players that had shorter careers and far superior stats before names, Guerrero, walker. And they played defence and walker, good Defense.. smith should have been in years ago though.. that’s a given.
larry walker 7 gold gloves, 1 MVP and 73 WAR 965 OPS, 3x batting champ
harold baines 0 gold gloves, 0 MVP 39 WAR 820 OPS 0x batting champ
Larry needs more of his buddies on this new joke of a commitee.
Jim Kaat and Tommy John belong in the HOF.
Dave Parker was a far more impactful players than Harold Baines.
Both Dave Parker and Al Oliver had more impact IMO. I liked Baines as a player, and I grew up a Pirate fan so you know I rooted for Parker and Oliver, but I’ve never had an issue with the 3 of them not being in the Hall. Of the 3, I would put Oliver in first if I had to choose one. And I would put Fred McGriff in before any of them.
Not to diminish from Baines long and amazing career, but I can name a dozen hitters right off the bat that aren’t in the hall, that deserve it more than he does.
What a joke, Baines and Lee Smith are not even close to HOF players, Baines isn’t nearly as good of a hitter as Albert Belle, to compare them is pathetic. George Steinbrenner changed the way owners ran MLB , you can’t tell the story of baseball without him.
Belle was a beast when healthy, but a total ass. Being a known cheater and a jerk to the media won’t get you in to the HoF.
I liked Baines as a player but now that he’s in should guys like Jeff Kent, Paul O’Neill, Bernie Williams, or Fred McGriff get another look?
Apparently everyone gets in now.
William’s was a GG CF and clean up hitter on a dynasty.
Hes a lock now.
I’m just wondering if they’ll put Mel Hall in too, he could use the good news.
All of them.
I initially read Jeff Kent as Jeff King though and laughed. I hadn’t thought about him in a long time but Jeff King, Hall of Famer, has a nice ring to it.
Starlin Castro is a lock in 2045!
Lol, Harold Baines?
This everyone gets a trophy nonsense has hit the big leagues now?
The guy was a DH pretty much his whole career and was never considered a feared hitter.
At pretty much any point of his career he was less valuable than a good ss or C.
Oh well, winning Acadamy awards used to mean something, that died about twenty years ago.
Now the hall means nothing.
A guy who never played the field, was never amongst the feared hitters of his time and played in relative obscurity for 22 years is a HOR’r.
Never played the field? Baines played the outfield 1,079 games in his career. He also spent 1,643 games as a designated hitter. At least get your facts straight
Fred Mcgriff now!
smith about time. seriously Steinbrenner and marvin miller both should be in. you can debate whether it was for better or worse but they both had major impact on game. best thing about baines getting in. they will finally get fred McGriff in when they get vote to unlike the writers..
WAR and the HOF
Player A.) 1st ballot HOFer 20 yrs Career WAR 65.5
Player B.) HOFer 23 yrs Career WAR 69.4
Player C.) 17 yrs Career WAR 68.3 not only not in the HOF but not even on the ballot.
All three player had careers that overlapped. All three played the entire 1990s in the Major Leagues. In fact Player A and Player C played one year on the same ML team.
Player A.) Craig Biggio
Player B.) Tim Raines
Player C.) Kenny Lofton
Harold Baines is an above average hitter who played a long time but wasn’t elite at anything and was never talked about. If he gets in the Hall, then so should Paul Konerko and Edwin Encarnacion.
George Steinbrenner is the most influential man in baseball of the past 50 years. He should get the credit for turning baseball into the cash machine it is today. The fact that he is not in the HOF is a joke.
Steinbrenner changed the game of baseball by making one market so out of line with all the other markets that he gave one city the single biggest advantage in any sport in recent history. If influencing baseball is all that it takes to get in, whether it’s in a positive or negative way, then I agree with you. For me, his single biggest contribution to baseball was that he was so bad at using his huge advantage over the smaller markets that the Yankees only had one very short window of dominance. That certainly helped baseball stay somewhat competitive allowing small market teams to win the World Series like Minnesota, Kansas City and others. So I guess his ineptitude did contribute greatly to the game and he might deserve recognition in the HOF for being able to spend way more money than anyone else yet keep the playing field somewhat level. Yep, that is epic ineptitude so he belongs in the HOF for being the greatest bungler of salary advantage of all time!!
Uh, remember when George Steinbreener got banned from baseball for hiring a mobster to try to blackmail Dave Winfield? Yeah, real Hall of Fame guy there.
Marvin Miller would be that guy. Without him, and Curt Flood, modern baseball doesn’t look anything like it does now.
How does a guy who was only half a player (only hits, he relaxed in the dugout while his mates work the field!) get in with stats that don’t even match up to one of the best right fielders of his era, Larry Walker! Baines season avg stats (based on 162 games) read: .289/465/820 ops, 28 2b, 3 3b, 22 hr,
2 sb, with a career war of 38.7, he also won 1 silver slugger and 6 (DH) All Star. Larry who also was a great fielder with a gun for an arm averaged 313/565/965 ops, 38 2b,
5 3b, 31 hr, 19 sb with a career war of 72.7, he also went to 5 All Star games, 3 silver sluggers, 3 batting titles, one MVP and 3 GOLD GLOVES! You know, the other half of the game that Harold couldn’t perform well enough at. Time for Walker to not be overlooked anymore.
Walker played in Coors Field. The season he batted .379, he hit .461 at home.
He was much better than Baines, but neither deserves the HOF.
Yes he did play at Coors Field, and he hit 29 of his 49 home runs that year AWAY from Coors…29! His numbers hold up offensively to get in regardless of ball park (check JAWS, AIR). Add in his insane defensive numbers and he is the best right fielder not in and he is better than 15 that are in.
Walker is a complete 5 tool player, he could hit for average, power, throw(really well), great glove, and a vastly underrated running ability. The only knock on him is couldn’t stay healthy often enough, maybe he should’ve done performance enhancers like a lot of his contemporaries so he could’ve recovered quicker.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Yes, think many in baseball would agree that Larry Walker is a complete tool
Coors Field, so the long ball traveled longer, and the not so long ball traveled and became flyball outs.
Nice Dad humour, but complete ball player, did it all.
Baines is in, yet Kenny Loften and Jim Edmonds were one and done on the ballots. Something doesn’t add up.
At the end of the day neither would likely be solid HOF material, but they deserved more credit. Chalk it up to juicers hogging votes on the ballot.
Harold Reynolds was so excited. Still cant speak a complete sentence though
Harold baines made the all star team 6 times.
4 of the times he was the lone representative on an awful team that had to have someone selected.
Basically he made the All star game 2 times in 22 years on merit.
The HOF next year should be about Mariano Rivera and Edgar Martinez. What a disgrace having Baines alongside those players.
Hopefully he just stays home instead of ruining the day.
That’s the worst thing I have read on here. Telling he should stay home? Baines was a class act in the majors, both as a coach and player. Hopefully you are the one who stays home…Cooperstown doesn’t need you!
Lee Smith,it’s about time,did it back the Closer really earned it
Comrade Tipsy McStagger
It is quite simple. I think everyone who voted for Baines just assumed that eleven others wouldn’t be voting for him. Not quite like a joke gone too far, but more like the time when that kinda cool nice guy was voted homecoming king. No one actually thought it would happen. But it did.
Modern day Rick Ferrell. No one wanted to be the bad guy who voted against such a nice person as Harold Baines.
“You can put it on the board…Yes!” and “Hey, hey”! Two more Chicago players enshrined in Cooperstown.
I’m all for anything that makes Keith Law increase his meds after getting triggered by the Hall of Fame.
Law’s work in the MLB was abysmal.
They both deserved it. About time.
If you saw them play or played fantasy baseball during their era you’d realize how outstanding they were. Lee was always a coveted closer and Baines was drafted in the first couple of rounds in annual drafts for many years. Debates about who belongs are completely subjective so I always fall back on how players were valued in fantasy. I know it doesn’t include defensive metrics but until someone comes up with meaningful defensive metrics and a fair way to counter balance them to offensive metrics, I believe fantasy value reflects a players value to the baseball world.
There aren’t too many guys who were first ballot HOFers that didn’t get drafted in the first round of drafts during their hay day. One huge exception is coming soon; Derek Jeter. During his career he was NEVER taken as the first SS off the board. Ripken was. Yount was. Larkin was. Trammel was. Jeter wasn’t. He usually lasted several rounds and was the 4th to 8th SS taken. The HOF is about politics right now. Jeter deserves to be in but not on the first ballet, just like Smith and Baines. Fortunately for Jeter he was a Yankee so his value is automatically skewed. If he plays for Milwaukee or KC or even the Angels he’s just a HOFer who gets in eventually. Captain of the Yankees, whether fair or not, will probably get him voted in the first year but again, during his era, he was never the best player at his position but he was always a top 5 SS. How many other guys will get in their first year without being the top player at his position in any year? The voting process wasn’t fair to Smith or Baines and it’s not likely to change soon.
Fantasy baseball values such different things than real baseball I’m not sure we can use that for any kind of reasonable data point. I play strat-o-matic and I certainly wouldn’t argue for a player because of his nice strat cards.
You must not play fantasy baseball because I played strat=o=magic for years and fantasy baseball is nothing like it. There are no givens like the cards in strat-o=magic which establish value. Public opinion defines the value of players in fantasy baseball and more recently public opinion is being swayed by more available baseball metrics.
When it comes to player evaluations for HOF, MVP or simple discussions about who is better we can go by writer’s opinions who often form their opinion based on maintaining relationships (ie political reasons) or we can take the temperature of the public. We can argue which is more accurate but for me I’d rather have the opinion of a group of people trying to win a championship so they try to accurately evaluate the value of players than a group of writers who may have been snubbed by a player, may have connections with people who affect their career that favor certain players. I think the fantasy value has a great chance of being accurate.
Maybe as metrics are better defined and the public is educated on the new metrics we can try to be more scientific about evaluating players but my math background forces me to reject most of the new metrics which have assumptions about averages in them. A batting average is a stat. WAR is a contrived number based on assumptions that are seldom outlined to the public about how the number is calculated. Multiple sources come up with multiple WAR values because it is such a contrived number. The actual stats, R, H, RBIs, Batting Average etc. reflect what a player did. Averaging averages to determine that an outfielder is better than another because a different set of scenarios occurred for one than the other has a huge fatal flaw in it. The circumstances experienced by both players are not identical and may not even be close to identical yet WAR treats them as if they were. We have no facts that suggest that given exact same circumstances the players wouldn’t have caught the exact same fly balls or grounders or made the exact same throw. Thus, these assumptions dictate which player is better, not facts. Until something more reliable that has true causation backing the numbers is invented, I’m sticking with the simple facts to evaluate players along with my observations about their ability to perform in clutch, make their teammates better and show up every day ready to play. Those considerations lead me to picking a fantasy player before another, not their WAR. So I’m ok with you not liking my choice for evaluating players but millions of people use it who love baseball and it is nothing like Strat=o=magic cards that dictate to you the value of a player.
I.”ve won money leagues 6 of the last 7 years but you can’t grade major league baseball players by fantasy standards. Pitchers on good teams are more valuable the pitchers on bad teams because a W gets you 7 pts an L -5.As for batters homeruns and sbs rule.Thats why Jeter always went in 4th or 5th round.While guys like Reyes big sbs or Garciaparra or ARod big hrs always went ahead of him.In real life though Jeters obp and overall clutchness made him invaluable As to your comment about him not being a first ballot hof as bugs bunny would say “What a maroon”
Clearly a Jeter fan. From a fantasy perspective, you bring up a valid point about the evolved fantasy leagues who got away from using stats to determine points. I don’t participate in those types of leagues so I didn’t consider them in my comments. When Smith and Baines played fantasy stats were calculated from weekly newspaper stats and categories were simple like R, RBI, AVG, SB and HRs and on the pitching side ERA, WHIP, Saves, Wins. Even during Jeter’s initial years stats were very limited so he wasn’t not taken because people were going for the wrong things when drafting, he was clearly a step down from Ripken, Larkin and others. As his career developed other younger players surpassed him because they hit for average, stole more bases and hit for more power not to mention they were much better fielders. But Jeter wasn’t a bad player, he simply was never the best player at his position during his long career. He has HOF numbers but he wasn’t feared like Ripken, he wasn’t a base threat like Larkin or many other SSs, he didn’t have power. He was a punch and judy hitter with an inside out swing who put the ball in play. He was Denny Doyle playing for the Yankees but he played well for nearly two decades so he belongs, just not on the first ballot.
I agree that his OBP was his strength in hitting but lots of guys with good OBPs little power and an average glove don’t get into the HOF. Jeter is a persona as captain of the Yankees and has political support. He was made to be the face of the Yankees, the biggest franchise. He’s getting in on the first vote for politics not his career. A good OBP, minimal power, a good average and an average fielding shortstop from a small market would need to be added to the HOF by the veteran’s committee. If you think there is no Yankee bias in the HOF, explain Rizzuto or others that got in because they played in NY. It’s the sports writers bias and this isn’t new news! It’s life and we all deal with it differently. You like the bias and I don’t because it’s unfair. When a franchise spends that much more money than anyone in baseball it makes sense that their fans like having an advantage and support it. I understand your viewpoint, I simply don’t agree with it.
You say I’m clearly a Jeter fan implying that Cal Ripken a first ballot hof deserves that but Jeter doesn’t . Lets look at the stats. Ripken averaged 23 hrs a year Jeter 15 and 91 rbis to Jeters 77. Two plusses for Ripken. However Ripkens lifetime ba 276 Jeters a really amazing 310 Ripkens 0bp 340 pretty average Jeters 377 again much better. Ripken stole 2 bases a year Jeter 21 a huge difference. Rioken scored 89 runs a year Jeter 113 again a huge difference and Jeter hit 4 triples a year compared to Ripkens 2.Now explain to me first why Ripkens so much better than Jeter and second why he was consistently picked over Jeter in your fantasy leagues if not for hrs.Truthfully Jeter scored more pts in fantasy leagues then did Ripken even with the hr advantage Ripken held.
The difference for real life baseball?
Ripken was actually a really good defensive shortstop. Jeter wasn’t. There is your difference in career value.
They were pretty comparable value wise as hitters though they got there in different ways.
Last year Chipper Jones Trevor Hoffman and Jim Thome all got in the hof .None of them were first round picks in fantasy . In 2012 Barry Larkin and Roberto Alomar not first rounders generally Both Smoltz and Glavine got in generally not first rounders Good point btw if you were taking Harold Baines or Lee Smith in the first round you had no idea what you were doing
Willy it’s hard to believe anyone could say what you said about Chipper, Hoffman, Thome, Larkin, Alomar, Smoltz and Glavine. All of them deserve the HOF based on their performance and you must have been in some very bad fantasy leagues if these guys weren’t taken in the early rounds. I am of the opinion that a first ballot HOFer should have been the best at their position for at least one year. I believe Chipper was, I believe Larkin was for several years. I believe Maddux was too. The others were top 5 players for many of their years so they belong but not on the first vote. Of all the guys you listed, I thought Glavine had the weakest argument but he coat-tailed in off of Maddux. Smoltz earned it all on his own and was very deserving.
Also Willy, with fantasy baseball you don’t have to go in the first round to be the best player at a position. Obviously the size of the league often precludes that from happening for all positions. The point I was making is that each fantasy player makes a list by position each year. Today there are a million sources to help you make that list, back in the 80s there weren’t nearly that many. These guys were in the top section of the list for their position for many years.
Baines was 25 years old when I started playing fantasy baseball and he hit .304 and slugged .541 that year and finished 13th in the MVP voting after finishing 10th the year before. He hit .300 or better 11 times and yes there were several years that he had that were not stellar. So, we have to ask ourselves is 8 years of excellent play then several on and off years then a great finish to your career qualifies you to be in the HOF. Baines began in 1980 and had a fabulous 80s but dropped off in the 90s and made a comeback in 99 by being named to the All-Star team with a .312 average and .533 slugging at age 40. Frank Thomas who was recently enshrined started in 1990 and had a fabulous 90s and then faded away after 10 great years. He hit .300 10 times as opposed to Baine’s 11 times. He had a very strong set of peak years then faded. Most folks went along with him because he was a big name and personality. Baines had a longer career with a similar peak (except for the power numbers) and a huge finish to his career but did it 10 years prior to Frank so is the the added time that causes people to ignore the accomplishments? Baines was a stud in the 80s and was a coveted fantasy player because he gave you R, RBIs, decent homers and a high average. Not many players did that. Dale Murphy did, but he’s another that got over=looked. He went first in our draft in 1984 after winning back to back MVPs but his greatness ended by 1988. During his peak years he was the first OF taken but they didn’t last long enough for the sports writers to vote him in.
Maybe the issue here is that folks don’t remember the 80s as well as the 90s. There should be allot more representation of the 80s in the HOF. I am also of the opinion that the HOF should NOT be a country club with a judging panel determining whether a player is “worthy”. It should be place where great baseball players are honored for their baseball accomplishments. There should be no limit to the number of players, there should be a well defined criteria for being honored. Things like steroids should be ignored because unlike other sports, baseball has no proof that steroids changed the statistics generated during that era. Facts like the HRs/Game went up more between Ruth’s era and May’s era than during May’s era and the steroid era contradict the public misconception that HRs increased during the steroid era. In fact, the growth in HRs slowed during the steroid era and has started to accelerate in recent years so either players are using steroids now or other drugs or there is a different reason for the growth in HRs. Did you know that the HRs/Game were higher when Maris hit 61 than when Bonds hit 73? Did you know that both pitchers and hitters took steroids and the net effect of both using them was never quantified? Did you know that Hank Aaron had a similar anomaly year in HRs at age 37 like Bonds did at age 36. Could that be from steroids? Or could it be that anomalies simply happen in baseball. Heck Brady Anderson never hit more than 24 HRs in his career except in 1996 when he hit 50. That variance from the mean is far greater than Bond’s variance! Must we conclude he took steroids one year? Or again, could it be that since there was a slowing in the growth of HRs/Game during the steroid era that steroids actually didn’t have an impact on HRs and if that’s the case, why are the great HR hitters from that era precluded from the HOF?
Ask Bud Selig. After all, it was Selig who threw Bonds, Clemens and McGwire under the bus despite turning a blind eye to steroid use in the Brewer organization that catapulted him into the limelight as the savior of baseball. He contrived a villain, disposed of the villain and declared himself the savior of baseball. The HOF was simply a pawn in his master plan. I believe Selig is a member now and frankly I have far more respect for Shoeless Joe, Bonds and the steroid guys and even Rose than I do Selig. He duped an entire sport to avoid accountability for the steroid issue as an owner. He turned the baseball world into Salem Massachusetts by simply providing mis-information to the senate, the public and the baseball world. I say free the witches and let’s burn Bud at the stake for the sham he calls “the steroid era”!! Sorry, I digress but any HOF talk brings me back to Selig’s shenanigans. I sure hope some day that historians reveal the real truth about the fake steroid era. I’m not saying steroids didn’t exist because I know they did from the 70s until they allegedly got cleaned up after 2000. I am saying that there was NEVER skewed numbers because of steroids because if the numbers did go up dramatically they would have been reflected in HRs/Game. That stat alone is the myth buster.
I never said they didn.t belong in hof Read what I said. I believe they all should be first round hofers.I was responding to someone who said if you don’t get picke in the first round in fantasy you don’t belong in the hof. They were player swho were clearly hofers but didn’t get picked in the first round in fantasy baseball. Read what I said before you critucize . I gave those guys and Jeter as example sof players who didn’t go in the first round but were clearly deserving of the hof
Also you said first round not early rounds.Chipper Jones never went in the first round .Most of the guys I named went in the early rounds just not the first round. However guys who couldn’t sniff the hof like Reyes Wright and Holliday often went in the first round. So much for fantasy being a judge of hofers. Also if Ripken always went before Jeter your fantasy leagues had no idea what they were doing as the numbers clearly show
Oh btw your comment about hr increase is ridiculous hrs went up more between Ruth and Mays because Ruth played in the dead ball era. They were using a far less lively ball so your steroid argument goes down the drain. The ball Mays and Aaron hit with is the same ball Mcgwire and Sosa hit with with minor adjustments.
Baines is nowhere near a HOF player. And it’s suspicious that his best season came at 40 in 1999.
1999? What are you talking about? His ‘84-‘85 seasons were much better than 1999
Gwynning's Anal Lover
I enjoyed watching Harold over his career but there are a ton of names like Dale Murphy, Parker, McGriff, Keith Hernandez, Steve Garvey, Gil Hodges, Jack Morris, Curt Flood and even Louis Tiant (they even named a woman’s body part after him) that deserve the call.
Smith should get in solely for his slow stroll to the mound. Epic
Nah…neither should be in. Baines played forever but was never that feared. Lee was memorable and as a Phillies fan I saw him alot and while he was scary, there are others that should now get in like John Franco and Jeff Reardon. Effective and memorable yes, but HOF? Not IMHO…
I have no problem with Smith getting in. Concerning Baines, however, there are many more deserving candidates including Mcgriff, Dwight Evans, Hershiser, Joe Carter and Mattingly, any of whom had more impact on the game.
….slowly I turned…step by step….inch by inch…
Please don’t mention him again,
Well, there are probably ten closers I can think of better than Smith: Hell, take away the absurd “save” stat and Smith has absolutely no HoF case at all. Silver King was more valuable than Smith, and nobody has any idea who that is. Bobo Newsom and Orel Hershiser and Urban Shocker were far more valuable than Smith and almost nobody knows who two of those guys are. There are literally hundreds of pitchers who had more value than Lee Smith, almost none of whom are in the Hall.
Or, to put it another way, Lee Smith’s 29.4 bWAR ties him with Bob Ewing and Mike Cuellar, and is just behind some luminaries as Ice Box Chamberlain and George Mogridge. George Zettlein and Ted Higuera were much more valuable pitchers, and nobody on earth knows who one of those guys is. Brandon Webb, who barely pitched 5 seasons, was 25% more valuable than Lee Smith.
Please break down a relief pitchers WAR and show all the assumptions built into it then do the same for bWAR so everyone can feel like your statement has merit. Contrived numbers like WAR and bWAR assume so many things that using it to evaluate a closer so you can try to compare them to others is no different than coming up with some goofy scale that compares apples and oranges. Too many people fall back on these contrived numbers when they can’t explain or prove points.
Clearly, the use of WAR and bWAR in arguments like this is no different than you telling me you read a list somewhere that listed the best relievers of all time and Lee Smith wasn’t on it. If you think mentioning a bunch of unknown players and applying these contrived metrics to them makes sense great but clearly that just goes to show how far off these metrics are from reality. I thank you for supporting my belief that there is no place for WAR or any contrived off shoot of WAR in conversations about the ‘actual’ career of a player. WAR is not an actual stat it is a contrived number with too many “assumptions” built into it for the public to truly digest. Trying to normalize the difference between an outfielder, infielder, catcher, starting pitcher, relief pitcher or closer is a valiant effort but it’s like comparing a list of elephants with tigers and giraffes. It makes no sense. Do you really want to try to compare the 4.3 ERA to a .929 fielding percentage and determine who is better? In what circumstance could that ever be a meaningful piece of information. To pick a guy in a draft? To decide if a guy makes the HOF? To pay a guy a salary?
If you can answer those questions about why to use WAR or any other WAR related stat for those purposes please explain because I can’t see any connection between the two. WAR is a math based evaluation that tries to build an index for comparing different players. It normalizes (an averaging technique that applies to varying circumstances that may or may not be similar enough to compare) distances and many other variables and compares them across people playing the same position. What it doesn’t do is account for the differences between real life experiences across players so if Trout runs 100 feet to catch a ball behind him to the left it tries to figure out and assign a value for his accomplishment comparing it to others trying to do the same thing. The problem is that his experience is unique and those same parameters won’t ever exist again yet the stat tries to suggest that on average we SHOULD expect a success rate for this event even though it will never happen again. If JBJ runs the same distance but the temperature is different, the wind is different, the sod is different, the closeness to the wall is different, the gusting of wind is different, the Sun is positioned differently is it fair to say they are equally good if they both catch it? Now, if 1000 different circumstances happen that match this scenario and it’s caught 50 percent of the time should those who missed it because a sudden gust came up and they didn’t catch it be considered a lesser player than the guy who caught it without any anomalies occurring? Now lets come full circle and compare the closer with a WAR related to entirely different set of circumstances to a CF who caught the ball and one that dropped the ball. We take an entire year’s worth of these circumstances and roll them into a number then average that number into a set of years representing their career and compile a WAR value. Can you seriously believe that the RP’s index and the CF’s index are comparable? Heck, I can’t even believe that the two CF’s indices are comparable yet an entire body of people who have bought into this contrived stat fight for it vigorously.
Averaging averages, adding unknown constants and comparing RPs to other positions through an indexed number seems like a fun experiment but it is so far removed from actual stats, optics and observed character evaluations that I can’t use the fabricated stats to compare players. I look at WAR and the other new metrics as leading indicators. That’s all!!
In my opinion, someone needs to dissect the many WAR calculations and evaluate why a guy like Trout is rated so highly yet never wins or even participates in the post season. Is he the Dan Marino of baseball or does WAR have a bias because it doesn’t account for some factors that can’t be quantified? Does WAR consider whether a player catches the ball in the ninth inning with two outs or in the first inning against the first batter? What arbitrary values are assigned for the difference? Does it account for all the strike outs that occur late in a game versus early in a game? If so, what arbitrary values are assigned? Does it take into account the number of pitches taken to help other base runners or to add wear and tear to the pitcher? WAR is a me generation number not a comparative stat that takes into account the TEAM concept. So, until things change, I’m going to rely on fantasy evaluations, personal observations and other intangibles to determine who belongs in the HOF, who should be drafted in the first round of my draft and which players I want to follow on a daily basis. Lee Smith and Harold Baines, both were top flight players for a significant number of years and they don’t deserve to be in ahead of others not currently in the HOF they simply deserve to be in the HOF just like many others that have not been elected including Bonds, Rose, Shoeless Joe and others. They are the elite baseball players throughout history and there is no cap on how many should get in. Rule of thumb should be elite players of each era. Some will have compact careers like Koufax and others will get in on cumulative stats like Yaz and Jeter (who will likely get in yet was never the best at his position!) They all belong.
Frazier, Ellsbury, and Florial for Lee Smith– get it done, Cashman!
A longtime DH that never hit 30 homeruns in a season and touched 30 doubles TWICE… in 22 years.
.289/.356/.465 career slash line
34CAREER stolen bases. (10 in one season)
1 top 10 MVP finish (9th)
1 silver slugger award
6 ASG appearances.
Not a big strikeout guy, and if anything a league-average walker.
Q: Who am I?
A: A HOFer apparently…
Tell me why anyone outside of Chicago would tell their children about this guy?
Harold’s 22 year career WAR is just 3-4 seasons for Mike Trout.
He’s respectable, but so is Jim Edmonds.. if not moreso. He was one and done, and had a lot more hardware… and a 22 career WAR advantage in much less time.
Longevity for sure got Baines in. No doubt a solid hitter and a threat to put the ball in play during his time but I still am baffled at what is considered worthy. Why Dale Murphy, a 2 time MVP, and certainly someone who over an 8 year span did more than a guy like Baines or many HOF did during that term, isn’t and likely never will be in.. I don’t understand.
Lee Smith, I get. No qualms there for me.
Baines getting in is ridiculous.Highest rank for mvp in his career was 9th.. Had a 289 ba a 356 obp and 384 hrs.In 22 years thats like 16 hrs a year.Bernie Williams doesn’t belong in hof but had a better career than Baines plus he played cf his entire career. For a dh to get in he has to be a dominant hitter like BigPapi. EDgarMArtinez isn”t in yet and he had a 312 ba and a 418 obp.This is a complete joke.
Seems like overcorrection by the VC (by another name). Criticized for not electing anyone (and when they finally did, they’d just died), they’re going the other way now.
Though I never understood “X shouldn’t get in before Y” arguments when X played before Y did. X should wait an additional ten years because someone better became eligible after they’d retired?
Honestly feel kind of bad for both electees now. Lee Smith’s election is being overshadowed by the “WTF?!” reaction to Baines, and Harold Baines is… well, What?!
i havent seen anyone mention it so i will. obviously edgar martinez is the first name where “if hes in, then he should get in” but what about jim thome? i dont consider either a hall of famer but if baines is in, then you have to put thome in then am i right? i feel like thome was just a better version of baines
You should consider Thome a hall of famer because he got in in 2018.He was a much better hitter than Baines. Not in same class.He had 612 hrs Baines 384 he had a 402 obp Baines a 356. Thome was a great hitter Baines was a very good hitter. Both are in the hall of fame but only one belongs there
I think Keith “Mex” Hernandez belongs in there. He was a perennial .300 hitter and the best fielding first baseman I have ever seen. He was the master of the 3-6-3 double play.
They must have had the wrong number for Lou Whitaker.
Harold Baines? Give me a break..
Baines in the HOF. What a COMPLETE joke.
Well, i’m calling it now, Ricky ‘Wild Thing’ Vaughn still has a chance to get in , and by this standards he deserve it.
Go get’em Ricky
This is on the BBWAA.
This was done to give them a wake up. While the BBWAA continues to abuse their powers, politic their vote by their own unwritten rules, the era committee just opened the floodgates for many.
Is Baines a Hall of Famer at first glance? Absolutely not.
But the era committee (probably) thinks Edgar Martinez and Fred McGriff are Hall of Famers. Guess what? Baines’ induction makes that happen. Whether you agree with that or not they just got a boost. Many other players just received a second life.
And while the BBWAA continues to play God with Bonds and Clemens, along with Curt Schilling because the BBWAA lacks tolerance, era committee chose to blow the doors wide open with the induction of Baines.
And while many can look to the Baines induction as a tarnish to the Hall of Fame, the BBWAA already did that by being complicit in the steroid era, only to sellout the very players they supported when they were at the top of the mountain. All the era committee did was prove that two wrongs do not make a right. But the BBWAA has no right to criticize the Baines induction when they were the ones that created the mess in the first place.
Man, the number of dopes who don’t know the game in this thread are astounding.
Baines and Smith should have been in the HoF a long time ago.
Baines, in particular, hit all those homes without ever hitting more than 29 four baggers in one season: only 50 less homers, more years, higher average than Beltran.
Almost 3000 hits makes it a no brainer.