merging my pictures and cards

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
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