Hardball Heroes is More Hardball's version of the Hall of Fame. It's an honor that can be bestowed upon memorable players from baseball's past that never quite made it to the elite status of Hall-of-Famer. To be enshrined in this exclusive class of players, one must have made an impression on us with their play on and off the field. So, without further ado, I bring to you April's Hardball Heroes honoree...
Harold Baines is the owner of 2866 hits, 488 doubles, 384 homeruns, 1299 runs, 1628 rbi, .289 batting average, .820 OPS, and a 6 time all-star. I understand that is not quite Cooperstown worthy, especially coupled with the fact that he was a horrible fielding outfielder that spent most of his career DH'ing, but those are some pretty damn impressive totals. All-time ranks: 18th games played, 31st plate appearances, 40th hits, 33rd total bases, 53rd homeruns, 57th doubles, and 28th rbi. In 31 postseason games: .324 average, .888 OPS, 5 hr, 16 rbi. The former 1st overall pick of the 1977 draft by the Chicago White Sox spent 22 seasons in the majors with the ChiSox, Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, and Cleveland Indians.
Since his playing days he's been honored with a bronze statue outside of U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. He's currently the first base coach for his beloved White Sox. Fun facts: was discovered as a Little League player at the age of 12 by Whitesox owner Bill Veek, who signed him 6 years later. Every January 9th is Harold Baines Day in St. Michaels, Maryland, where he was born, raised, and still resides today.
Past Hardball Hereos inductees: Bert Blyleven and Dale Murphy.
Harold Movie Trailer