Home Run Baker

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Home Run Baker
Frank Baker.jpg
Third Baseman
Born: (1886-03-13)March 13, 1886
Trappe, Maryland
Died: June 28, 1963(1963-06-28) (aged 77)
Trappe, Maryland
Batted: LeftThrew: Right 
MLB debut
September 21, 1908 for the Philadelphia Athletics
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1922 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Batting average    .307
Home runs    96
Runs batted in    987
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction    1955
Election Method    Veteran's Committee
 
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Home Run Baker
Frank Baker.jpg
Third Baseman
Born: (1886-03-13)March 13, 1886
Trappe, Maryland
Died: June 28, 1963(1963-06-28) (aged 77)
Trappe, Maryland
Batted: LeftThrew: Right 
MLB debut
September 21, 1908 for the Philadelphia Athletics
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1922 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Batting average    .307
Home runs    96
Runs batted in    987
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction    1955
Election Method    Veteran's Committee

John Franklin "Home Run" Baker (March 13, 1886 – June 28, 1963) was an American third baseman in Major League Baseball from 1908 to 1922, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. As a member of the famed $100,000 infield, Baker helped the Philadelphia Athletics win the 1910, 1911 and 1913 World Series. His legacy has grown over the years, and he is regarded by many as the best third baseman of the pre-war era. During his 13 years as a Major League player, Baker never played a single inning at any position other than third base.

Contents

Professional career

Philadelphia Athletics

Home Run Baker

Baker was born in Trappe, Maryland,[1] was a butcher by trade, and broke into the major leagues in 1908 with the Athletics.

Baker, who led the American League in home runs in 1911, earned the nickname "Home Run" during the 1911 World Series in which he hit a go-ahead home run off Rube Marquard in Game 2, and a ninth-inning game-tying home run off Christy Mathewson in Game 3. His home run crown would be the first of four consecutive seasons leading the American League in home runs. He hit 11 home runs in 1911, 10 home runs in 1912, 12 home runs in 1913, and nine home runs in 1914. In two of those seasons he also led the American League in runs batted in.

In seven seasons with the A's he hit .321 with 48 home runs, 612 RBIs and 88 triples in 866 games played.

Baker played third base for the Athletics until 1915, when he sat out the entire season in a contract dispute with Connie Mack. He remained in baseball, playing for Upland, Pennsylvania in the semiprofessional Delaware County League.[2]

New York Yankees

Mack sold Baker's contract in 1916 to the New York Yankees, with whom he finished his career. He led the league in games played with 141 games in 1919

Initially, Baker retired in 1920, but came back to play two more seasons with the Yankees, seasons that took him to two more World Series. He finished his tenure with the Yankees with a .288 batting average, 48 home runs and 375 RBIs in 676 games.

Managerial career

Following his retirement, Baker managed for two seasons (19241925) in the Eastern Shore Baseball League, and was credited with discovering Jimmie Foxx and recommending him to Athletics manager Connie Mack.

Legacy

In addition to his 1955 election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, in 1981 Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time.

Home Run Baker was laid to rest in Easton, Maryland.

There is a statue of Home Run Baker in the southwest area of UMass-Amherst. It was erected by a University of Massachusetts student.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Baker, Frank". National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ Lanctot, Neil (1994). Fair Dealing and Clean Playing: the Hilldale Club and the development of black professional baseball, 1910-1932. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 11. ISBN 0-89950-988-6. 
    "Semiprofessional" may be a euphemism. Upland employed other major leaguers between 1915 and 1919 (including Baker's longtime teammate Chief Bender), and by 1919 the Delaware County League was declared an outlaw league by organized baseball.

External links

Preceded by
Jake Stahl
American League Home Run Champion
1911-1914
(1912 with Tris Speaker)
Succeeded by
Braggo Roth
Preceded by
Ty Cobb
American League RBI Champion
1912-1913
Succeeded by
Sam Crawford