Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Baines In The Field

Outfielder Harold Baines robbed a hitter during this 1982 game with the Yankees.

After what seems like a lifetime of searching, I finally found proof that Harold Baines was a force to be reckoned with in the outfield. Proof positive that Harold once roamed the outfield with cat-like reflexes, making amazing plays.

If only the card companies would have had the foresight to preserve an action shot of Harold in the outfield, maybe he would be getting more votes towards the Hall of Fame. Maybe there would be a better argument for his inclusion.

Instead, Topps, Donruss, Fleer and many other card manufacturers of the eighties decided to show Harold with a bat in his hand. Regardless if it was in the batting cage, the on deck circle, the batters box, or a casual photo op, he almost always had a bat in his hand. If a card didn't show his bat, it focused on a bust shot pose. This kind of treatment led to Harold being regarded as a statue.

Look at the majesty of an airborne Baines, leaping after a ball, eventually taking away a hit from some surprised Yankee batter. It is a thing of beauty. One that I was beginning to think only existed in my own mind. I knew my memories hadn't failed me. It had been over twenty years, but I can remember Harold's spectacular plays in the outfield, as well as his clutch hits and massive home runs.

My only regret is that the photo is in black and white. I can forget that minor detail and bask in the glow of a memory confirmed!


Johngy said...

I remember some nice defensive play from Baines. Nice find!

dinged corners said...

Why is that element of his talent deemphasized? Great photo.

The word verification is: proving!

White Sox Cards said...

I'm glad someone else remembers great defensive plays by Baines!

Most people think of him as just a DH now. Since his most publicized tool was his bat and that's what card companies focused on. History is told by the pictures and there are very few that don't show Baines with a bat.

Awesome word verification!

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