LAS VEGAS — Against all odds, Harold Baines is heading to Cooperstown.
Baines and Lee Smith became the two newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday when they were elected by the Today's Game Era Committee.
Baines, 59, played 22 Major League seasons, including three with the A's from 1990-92. The outfielder/DH was named an All-Star in 1991, one of six career All-Star appearances.
Baines had been eligible for the Hall of Fame since 2007 but never came close to garnering the necessary 75 percent vote on the writers' ballots. He was dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2011 after receiving just a 4.8 percent vote total.
However, Baines got 12 of 16 votes (75 percent) on the Today's Game Era ballot, just enough to qualify for Cooperstown. The Today's Game Era Committee is one of four "Eras Committees" which provide an alternate route to reach the Hall of Fame, besides the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
In his 22 seasons, Baines slashed .289/.356/.465 with 384 home runs and 1,628 RBI. In three seasons with the A's, he slashed .274/.360/.431 with 39 homers and 187 RBI.
Smith, 61, pitched for eight different teams in his 18-year career, finishing with 478 saves, third-most in MLB history, and a 3.03 ERA. The seven-time All-Star was a unanimous selection by the Today's Game Era Committee, receiving 16 of 16 votes. He currently works as the Giants' minor-league pitching coach.
Lou Piniella, Albert Belle, Joe Carter, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel, and George Steinbrenner were also nominated for the Hall of Fame but came up short of the required votes.
Results of the Today’s Game Era Ballot (12 votes needed for election): Lee Smith (16 votes, 100%); Harold Baines (12 votes, 75 percent); Lou Piniella (11 votes, 68.8%); Albert Belle, Joe Carter, Will Clark, Orel Hershiser, Davey Johnson, Charlie Manuel and George Steinbrenner < 5— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 10, 2018
Baines and Smith will officially be enshrined in Cooperstown on July 21, 2019.