Harold Baines gives his speech at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

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Harold Baines 'Humbled' By Hall Of Fame Induction

Baines was the first overall pick in the 1977 draft by the White Sox.

July 21, 2019 - 3:51 pm
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(AP) Harold Baines was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York on Sunday afternoon.

The soft-spoken Baines never displayed much emotion in his 22-year career, but his voice cracked throughout his speech.

"Somehow I acquired a reputation for not saying much. I'm not sure why," he deadpanned at the start. "From teachers to coaches who showed me kindness and discipline, I thank you all for what you've done for me. If I can leave you with one message, it's to give back to your community. I stand here very humbled. It has taken time to sink in."

Baines was the first overall pick in the 1977 draft by the White Sox, for whom he spent nearly all of his first 10 seasons with. Baines also played for the Rangers, Athletics, Orioles and Indians. He was a six-time All-Star and twice won the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award. An eight-time .300 hitter who reached the 20-homer mark in 11 seasons, Baines drove in at least 90 runs eight times and ranks 34th on the all-time list with 1,628 RBIs. He retired with 2,866 hits and 1,628 RBIs, one of only 17 players in MLB history to have reached both 2,800 hits and 1,600 RBIs.

Baines saved his last moments to pay tribute to the White Sox and to his family, thanking his mom and dad and wife Marla, who also had to hold back tears.

"You are the true Hall of Famer of our family," Baines said as he looked out at his wife. "The game has given us a lot of shared moments, memories like today. Your presence here today makes my journey complete."

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press.