It might have been a day late, but the White Sox had a nice birthday tribute to first-base coach Harold Baines before the team hit in the bottom of the first of Monday’s game against the Royals. The public address announcer at Camelback Ranch informed the crowd of Baines’ 50th birthday being Sunday, and the crowd followed with a nice ovation.
Gordon Beckham, the subject of a practical joke earlier this camp when he inadvertently asked “Who is Harold” while talking to A.J. Pierzynski about Baines, brought a cake for Baines on to the field. A group of fans then serenaed Baines with their rendition of “Happy Birthday” later in the game, to which Baines tipped his helmet.
Manager Ozzie Guillen, one of Baines’ closest friends, comically applauded Baines’ longevity after Monday’s game that seemed like it took 50 years to complete.
“He’s a lucky man; he made it to 50,” said Guillen with a laugh. “I hope I make it to 50. If I keep living the life I lead, 49 will be good enough.”