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Today in White Sox History: June 7

Harold Baines makes immediate history

Chicago White Sox Harold Baines
On this day 45 years ago, Harold Baines — a pick of many firsts — was drafted by the White Sox.
SetNumber: X24285

1965

White Sox third baseman Pete Ward’s appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated was derailed at the last second, when Muhammad Ali beat Sonny Liston in the rematch for the heavyweight boxing championship. Ali got the cover shot when the fight photos arrived at the weekly magazine at literally the last possible publishing time.

Ward was sent four “test” copies of the cover that never ran, as a keepsake. The headline? “The New White Sox Power For a Pennant.”


1974

During a game against the Red Sox, a fire broke out at Comiskey Park. It started in the main commissary under the right-field stands. Several thousand fans were forced to go on the field for safety reasons, but they left the grass in great shape, without any damage. The game was delayed for approximately 90 minutes, resuming at midnight. The White Sox eventually won, 8-6. Dick Allen had three RBIs in the game.


1977

The 1977 season was notable on the South Side for many reasons, but its most important legacy of all was forged on this day, when the White Sox drafted Harold Baines No. 1 overall.

It was just the second time the White Sox had ever possessed the No. 1 pick (in 1973, they selected but did not sign prep catcher Danny Goodwin). The Sox haven’t picked No. 1 since.

Owner Bill Veeck, living in Maryland, had followed Baines since he was age 12 in Little League. He took the St. Michaels High School outfielder over a local pitcher, Bill Gullickson of Orland Park, which was a surprise to outsiders. Baines hit .532 as a senior and was a national All-American, signing for an outrageous $32,000 — the lowest-ever bonus for a No. 1, by more than half.

The top of the draft class was loaded, as fellow future Hall-of-Famer Paul Molitor was selected No. 3 and future 1983 White Sox teammates Richard Dotson (No, 7, Angels) and Randy Martz (No. 12, Cubs) also were at the top of the class.

In 2019 Baines was elected to the Hall of Fame, becoming the earliest No. 1 pick ever to be enshrined in Cooperstown, joining Ken Griffey Jr. (1987) and Chipper Jones (1990) as the only No. 1s in the Hall.


1978

In a game at Minnesota, the White Sox used a six-run second inning to defeat the Twins, 8-3. The Sox got four hits that inning along with an error, two walks and a hit batsman to help the cause. Pitcher Ken Kravec was the beneficiary and picked up the win — which was the 6,000th in the history of the franchise.