CHICAGO Teams

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Harold Baines, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martínez, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera and Lee Smith were inducted with 53 returning Hall of Famers in Cooperstown on Sunday, bringing the total number of Hall of Famers in town to a record 58 – the most at any location in history.

William Weinbaum ESPN 

With the White Sox extending safety netting to the foul poles & the O's reportedly to take similar action for 2020, a former star for both said he's all for it MLB-wide. "It's a long time coming as guys are bigger, stronger and the ball is coming off their bats quicker and you have babies in the front row," new Hall of Famer Harold Baines told ESPN in Cooperstown. "They (fans) should be protected — in Japan, it's already like that." Washington also lengthened its netting & 4 other teams say they plan to do so. But Cleveland, where a foul past 1st base on Sun. struck a toddler — who was sent to the hospital — and Tampa Bay, where a woman was injured on a foul to LF Fri. & a man was OK after a thrown bat near 3rd base hit him on Sat., have not announced any new netting plans.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Mariano, always 'the last,' closes HOF ceremony

Mariano Rivera and fellow closer Lee Smith, starters Mike Mussina and the late Roy Halladay, and designated hitters Edgar Martinez and Harold Baines were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, with Rivera the last to take the podium.

Urias makes sweet scoop and throw for the out (0:29)
Mejia mashes go-ahead homer (0:27)
Tatis drives in tying run (0:27)

William Weinbaum ESPN 

A day after a foul ball hit a woman in the head in Tropicana Field's LF stands, a thrown bat soared over netting on the third-base side and struck a man in the back Sat. as he shielded his girlfriend, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The man - who'd come from Chicago for the White Sox-Rays series - wasn't hurt, had a pine tar stain on his shirt & gave the bat to a teenager nearby. On Mon., the White Sox are to become MLB's first team to have safety netting extending to the foul poles.

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

In thanking the people from his hometown of Castle, Louisiana, Lee Smith said, "You think Cooperstown is small, you've never been to Castle." Smith talked of how essential the role of community played in helping him get to the majors. He also recalled Buck O'Neil, a longtime Cubs scout, helping pave the way for his first pro contract.

Bradford Doolittle ESPN Staff Writer 

"I'm not an emotional man, except when it comes to family," Harold Baines said, right before his voice cracked. He doesn't say much, but he means what he says.

Union make it look easy vs. Chicago (0:51)
Abreu wins game with 11th-inning single (0:32)
Báez's 3-run HR puts Cubs in front (0:22)
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Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Watch Javy Baez discuss what was better, his ninth inning tag or hitting a 3 run homer in the Cubs win on Saturday.

William Weinbaum ESPN 

Lee Smith said in our pre-HoF induction interview Fri. that opposing hitters "knew I had pinpoint control. If I threw a ball right on the corner, I could expand the strike zone a little bit, and you start doing that, you're going to get borderline pitches, so you can let the hitter get himself out." Smith said his repertoire was a two-seamer, a four-seamer and a slider. "I started throwing a forkball at the end, but it was really a cutter — and Harry Caray called it a slider, so I wasn't going to argue with him." Smith also said his customary slow walk in from the bullpen was calculated, to make hitters wait, think and guess at what first pitch they'd face.

William Weinbaum ESPN 

New HoF inductee Harold Baines said of himself as a hitter, in our Fri. Cooperstown interview, "I could hit to all fields. You really couldn't position me correctly, because I took advantage of what you left me, and I studied, so I'd pretty much know what side of the plate you were trying to get me out on." He said he takes greatest pride in his longevity and consistency, adding, "My last 12 years I was pretty much on one-year contracts, so I couldn't afford to fail."

Sanchez strokes HR to left (0:24)