DETROIT -- When it comes to approach, White Sox assistant hitting coach Harold Baines is a big fan of David Ortiz, who passed him in the record books on Wednesday.
Ortiz picked up his 1,689th hit as a designated hitter in Seattle to move past Baines for the most career hits by a DH. The Boston Red Sox slugger had already held the DH records for most runs, doubles, home runs, extra-base hits and RBI by a DH before he doubled on Wednesday.
“He’s a great hitter,” Baines said. “Very well deserved. He’s 37 now and has had a great career. I’m most impressed how he uses the whole field. He’s a power hitter, but he takes his singles. He knocks in a lot of [runs]. He’s a complete hitter. He’s a DH, but he uses the whole field.”
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As the debate rages on whether or not the DH should be added to the National League, Baines believes it holds an important place in the game. The former outfielder started to experience knee problems in 1986 and was almost entirely a DH from 1993 on. Baines, who appeared at DH in 1,643 of his 2,579 games played, finished his career with 2,866 hits.
“A lot of guys unfortunately get hurt but their career can be extended by having the DH around,” Baines said. “It saved my career. It added 11 more years because of the DH.”