Baines will be inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in ceremonies scheduled for Aug. 29, before Baltimore hosts the Cleveland Indians. Baines spent parts of seven seasons (1993-95, 1997-99, 2000) in an Orioles uniform, hitting .301 with 107 home runs.
"Very surprised," Baines said, recalling his reaction when informed that he'd been elected into the Orioles shrine. "I'm very grateful. I've always been treated very well here."
Baines, an outfielder before knee injuries derailed his time as a position player, is the only Major League player to appear in more than 1,000 games as a designated hitter and more than 1,000 games at another position. He spent the first decade (1980-89) of his 22-year career with the White Sox, rejoining them for additional tours in 1996-97 and 2000-01. He finished with 2,866 hits and joined the White Sox coaching staff six years ago.
His No. 3 jersey was retired by the White Sox in 1989 while he was still active. Baines knows that few players have received such honors from two different organizations and that the distinctions acknowledge more than his longevity.
"It just shows me, on a personal note, that they appreciate the way I played the game," he said.
Because he was born and resides in St. Michael's, Md., on the state's Eastern Shore, Baines expects his immediate family and friends will be a part of the Hall of Fame festivities, which include a luncheon in downtown Baltimore, hosted by the Oriole Advocates, the day before his enshrinement.
"My wife said a lot of people have been asking about it," Baines said.
Freeing him from his duties with the White Sox during the regular season took only a call from Andy MacPhail, the Orioles' president of baseball operations, to Kenny Williams, Chicago's general manager. The White Sox will be in New York to play the Yankees that weekend, part of a 10-game road swing.
Never known as a player who craved media attention or spoke at length with reporters, Baines chuckled softly when he was asked if he'd started thinking of his acceptance speech.
"It'll be short and quick. ... I think they want one or two minutes," Baines said.
Pete Kerzel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.