The Today's Game Era Committee voted former White Sox star Harold Baines and former Cubs closer Lee Smith into Cooperstown on Sunday.
Former White Sox slugger Harold Baines and Cubs closer Lee Smith were elected by the Today's Game Era Committee into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.
The 16-person committee, which used to be known was the Veteran's Committee, met at the Winter Meetings on Sunday and voted to enshrine both Baines and Smith. Smith was a unanimous choice, while Baines received the minimum 12 votes.
Baines, 59, spent five years on the Hall of Fame ballot and never received more than 5.9% of the vote. During his 22 seasons in the big leagues, Baines produced 2,866 hits, 384 homers and 1,628 RBI, earning him All-Star honors six times. Baines spent 14 seasons with the Chicago White Sox and retired in 2001. Despite his longevity in the game, his résumé is a far cry from many other Hall of Famers.
Baines was reportedly surprised to hear that he had been voted in.
Harold Baines says he was "very shocked'' by the news— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 10, 2018
Smith, who pitched 18 seasons and was a longtime Cub, remained on the ballot for 15 years. His highest vote percentage was 50.6 in 2006. Smith, 61, retired as the all-time saves leader with 478 saves and was named an All-Star seven times.
Baines and Lee were joined by Albert Belle, Joe Carter, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel, Lou Piniella and George Steinbrenner as candidates on the Today's Game Era ballot.
Results from the Baseball Writers' Association of America voting will be announced on Jan. 22. The Hall of Fame ceremony will take place on July 21, 2019.