clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The 40 Greatest Orioles of All-Time - No. 36 - Harold Baines

36. Harold Baines, DH (1993-1995, 1997-1999, 2000)

All-Star: 1999

Harold Baines, historically, is a member of the White Sox. He also played for Texas, Oakland, and Cleveland. But he did play 666 games for the Orioles over his career, and he did a fine job as our DH every time we had him.

Baines first came to the Orioles at age 34, traded in January of 1993 from Oakland in exchange for Bobby Chouinard and Allen Plaster. 1992 had been a rough season for Baines, as he hit just .253/.331/.391 for Oakland, but he bounced back in Baltimore with a .312/.390/.510 line in 118 games, hitting 20 homers with 78 RBI. He re-signed to a two-year deal, both years being strike shortened. In '94, he hit .294/.356/.485 in 326 at-bats, and in '95 he hit .299/.403/.540 with 24 homers in 385 at-bats.

After that, Baines returned to the White Sox for both the 1996 and 1997 season, but was traded back to Baltimore in July of '97 for the Orioles playoff run. Chicago later received Juan Bautista, who never made the majors. In 44 games with the Orioles, Baines hit .291/.356/.418. He re-upped with the Orioles for two years, and struggled some in '98.

In 1999, Baines was having a remarkable season at age 40, hitting .322/.395/.583 with 24 homers and 81 RBI in 107 games with the Orioles. He made his first All-Star team since 1991, for the sixth and final time. With the team out of contention, he was dealt to Cleveland for Juan Aracena and Jimmy Hamilton, both of whom also never saw the light of the major league day.

The Orioles again signed Baines at age 41, and again traded him midway through the season, this time to the White Sox with Charles Johnson for Brook Fordyce and three other guys that didn't make the show. He finished his career with the White Sox in 2001, playing his final game on September 27, and falling 16 homers shy of 400.

I've always found Harold Baines an interesting player. He held on forever and generally just produced, produced, produced. He could hit. He couldn't do much else, but the man could hit. Also of note: The last time Baines put on a glove was in 1997, playing one game of right field for the Orioles. The last time before that had been in 1992. Baines was almost exclusively a DH from 1987 on.