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Harold Baines, Lee Smith elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

By Alex Butler
Harold Baines, Lee Smith elected to Baseball Hall of Fame
Former Chicago White Sox star Harold Baines received the required 12 of 16 votes to get into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Harold Baines and Lee Smith have been elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The former Major League Baseball greats were announced as the newest members of Cooperstown on Sunday night.

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Baines, 59, made his MLB debut in 1980 for the Chicago White Sox.

The six-time All-Star hit .289 with 384 home runs during his 22-year career. He also suited up for the Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians during his pro baseball tenure. Baines played his final season in 2001 with the White Sox.

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Baines said he was not expecting to receive the call for the Hall of Fame.

"I shouted 'what?' I told my wife and we had a little moment," Baines told MLB Network.

Smith, 61, made his debut in 1980 with the Chicago Cubs. The right-handed pitcher owned a 3.03 ERA and a 71-92 record, while posting 478 saves in 18 seasons with the Cubs, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Orioles, California Angels, Cincinnati Reds and Montreal Expos.

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Smith was a seven-time All-Star and was a three-time Reliever of the Year.

"I never, never, never gave up hope," Smith told MLB.com, "and then when they started the second-chance ballot, I thought my chances got a little better. Today was probably the most nervous I've been with this Hall of Fame voting thing."

Smith was a unanimous selection by the 16-member panel Today's game Era Committee. Baines received 12 of the 16 votes needed for induction. The Hall of Fame appoints members of the panel to review players who have been retired for at least 15 seasons and passed over by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

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