According to Thornburg, Baines received 12 of 16 votes from the Today's Game Era Committee, which was the minimum number of votes required to earn passage to the Hall of Fame. Smith, meanwhile, received 16 yes votes.
Fancred's Jon Heyman shared the full voting results:
Jon Heyman @JonHeyman
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
Reaction to the news was mixed, to say the least:
robneyer ⚾️🧗♂️🗽 @robneyer
Let's be frank: The elections of Jack Morris, Lee Smith, and (especially) Harold Baines are fully intended by voters to troll everyone who believes in objective analysis. They've lost power everywhere but here, but by God they're gonna use it. Embarrassing to Hall (or should be).
Aaron Gleeman @AaronGleeman
Harold Baines was on the ballot as recently as 2011 and received 4.8% of the vote. It was his fifth straight year with a vote total below 10%. Why, just seven years later, do 16 people get to decide that he's now a Hall of Famer when 95.2% of the voters didn't think he was one?
Boys & Gurleys In America @CTowersCBS
What's the difference between Kent Tekulve and Lee Smith? Both had a 132 ERA+. Tekulve did it in 150 more career innings. But he was born 10 years earlier than Smith, so he wasn't used with an eye on getting saves alone, so he got six votes, while Smith gets enshrined.
Baseball Reference's JAWS metric helps evaluate a Hall of Fame resume. It takes a player's seven best single-season WAR and averages it against his career WAR.
Smith's supporters can point to the fact that he sits higher than Bruce Sutter, Trevor Hoffman and Rollie Fingers in JAWS among relief pitchers, per Baseball Reference. Sutter, Hoffman and Fingers have all been enshrined in Cooperstown, New York.
Smith retired with a 3.03 ERA and 478 saves, which were the most all-time when he stepped away from the game after the 1997 season. Hoffman and Mariano Rivera have since surpassed him.
While Smith isn't generally remembered as a dominant closer—not in the way Rivera and Dennis Eckersley are—his Hall of Fame honor isn't entirely undeserved.
According to FanGraphs, Baines had two seasons with at least 3.0 WAR. To put that into perspective, Carlos Delgado had seven 3.0-plus-WAR seasons and lasted one year before failing to collect enough support to even remain on the Hall of Fame ballot.
More than anything, Baines wasn't a player who helped define the era in which he played.
Baines spent 22 seasons in MLB. In only four of those seasons did he receive an MVP vote, and he never finished higher than ninth. Baines epitomized a player seemingly destined for the proverbial "Hall of Very Good" rather than Cooperstown.
The criticism toward his election is likely only beginning.