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Today in White Sox History: March 15

Happy birthday, dear Harold

Beloved White Sox legend Harold Baines has been associated with the franchise for almost all of the past 45 years.
| Ron Vesely/Getty Images

1945

Due to World War II travel limits, the White Sox open spring training in Indiana, along with the St. Louis Browns, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Chicago Cubs. More MLB teams end up training in Indiana than any other location.


1959

Future Hall-of-Famer and White Sox fan favorite, Harold Baines, is born, in Easton, Md. Baines was famously “scouted” at age 12, while in Little League, by Bill Veeck, who would in 1977 make Baines the only No. 1 overall draft choice in White Sox history to actually suit up for the team. Traded to Texas on July 30, 1989, Baines was so beloved in Chicago that his No. 3 jersey was retired by the White Sox on his next visit to Chicago with the Rangers, on August 20. (Only Phil Niekro and Frank Robinson have had numbers retired while still active players.) Baines, of course, also returned to the White Sox on two occasions as a free agent, and then served in various coaching roles with the team for a decade, and remains with the club in an ambassador role.


1976

After stepping in at the last minute to buy the franchise and prevent them from being moved to Seattle, Bill Veeck appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The headline read, “Baseball Couldn’t Shut Him Out.” Veeck owned the team for five years in his second stint — longer than his more storied tenure with the Go-Go White Sox.

Originally the other owners voted down Veeck’s bid, demanding that he change financial ownership terms in it. Amazingly, Veeck somehow got it done, and he was approved to purchase the White Sox.


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