1977 #1 Draft Pick – Harold Baines
Since the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft is coming up soon I thought that I would do a countdown to the draft. What better way to do it than to use #1 draft cards similar to the ones used in the 1985 set? I only thought that I had seen a couple of guys who were picked overall #1 in person. When I pulled up a list I realized that I had seen a lot of the guys picked number one. Today we start the countdown with the earliest pick. In 1977 the White Sox picked Harold Baines #1, and picked a franchise player in the process.
Harold has an interesting story. White Sox owner Bill Veeck according to the myth saw Baines playing little league baseball long before he ever became the #1 pick. He had a monster high school career in Maryland and was named a high school All American. That made Veeck’s choice easy to make.
Harold was already a regular on the club in 1980, and was a South Side fixture for many years. He was a key part of the ‘Winning Ugly’ White Sox team of 1983. He famously ended the 25 inning game against the Brewers with a home run in 1984. In 1985 he hit a home run in a losing cause during my first baseball game. When he was traded to Texas for a handful of players in 1989 (one of them being Sammy Sosa) the White Sox immediately retired his number. Harold came back to the Sox two more times, and each time the White Sox pulled the #3 off the shelf. After his playing days were done the White Sox once again dusted off the #3 when Harold became the bench coach, and eventually the first base coach for the South Side team.
During his career Harold played for five teams. He had three tours of duty each with the White Sox and his home state Baltimore Orioles. He also played for the Texas Rangers, the Cleveland Indians, and the Oakland Athletics. His #3 has been retired by both the White Sox as well as the Orioles.
Here are the first 26 picks of the 1977 MLB draft as taken from MLB.com:
|1.||White Sox||Harold Baines||OF||St. Michaels, MD|
|2.||Expos||Bill Gullickson||RHP||Orland Park, IL|
|3.||Brewers||Paul Molitor||SS||U of Minnesota|
|4.||Braves||Tim Cole||LHP||Saugerties, NY|
|5.||Tigers||Kevin Richards||RHP||Wyandotte, MI|
|6.||Cardinals||Terry Kennedy||C||Florida State U|
|7.||Angels||Richard Dotson||RHP||Cincinnati, OH|
|8.||Padres||Brian Greer||OF||Brea, CA|
|9.||Rangers||David Hibner||SS||Howell, MI|
|10.||Giants||Craig Landis||SS||Napa, CA|
|11.||Indians||Bruce Compton||OF||Norman, OK|
|12.||Cubs||Randy Martz||RHP||U of South Carolina|
|13.||Red Sox||Andrew Madden||RHP||New Hartford, NY|
|14.||Astros||Ricky Adams||SS||Montclair, CA|
|15.||Twins||Paul Croft||OF||Morristown, NJ|
|16.||Mets||Wally Backman||SS||Beaverton, OR|
|17.||Athletics||Craig Harris||RHP||Sierra Vista, AZ|
|18.||Pirates||Anthony Nicely||OF||Dayton, OH|
|19.||Orioles||Drungo Hazewood||OF||Sacramento, CA|
|20.||Dodgers||Bob Welch||RHP||E. Michigan U|
|21.||Royals||Mike Jones||LHP||Pittsford, NY|
|22.||Phillies||Scott Munninghoff||RHP||Cincinnati, OH|
|23.||Yankees||Steve Taylor||RHP||U of Delaware|
|24.||Reds||Tad Venger||3B||Newhall, CA|
|25.||Blue Jays||Tom Goffena||SS||Sidney, OH|
|26.||Mariners||Dave Henderson||OF||Dos Palos, CA|