Frank "Home Run" Baker was a star for the Philadelphia Athletics and New York Yankees
Though he never hit more than 12 homers in a season, third baseman Frank Baker led the American League in round-trippers in four straight years during the deadball era.
Acquired by Connie Mack in 1908, Baker was the starting third baseman the following season. In 1909, Mack put together the Athletics’ famed $100,000 infield — with Stuffy McInnis at first, Eddie Collins at second, and J
On May 29th that season, Baker hit the first home run ever knocked over the fence at Shibe Park. He finished 6th in the AL home run race in 1909, the first of his nine top-10 finishes.
Baker helped Mack’s Athletics reach the World Series in 1910, ’11, ’13, and ’14, coming away with the title in each of the first three tries. The 1914 version of the Athletics’ infield was hailed by Bill James as the greatest infield of all time.
Baker remained with the Athletics until the Yankees purchased his services before the start of the 1916 season. Though he failed to maintain the production of his time in Philadelphia, he finished in the top-ten in homers each of his first four seasons in New York.
During his six years with the Yankees, he returned to the Fall Classic twice, losing to John McGraw‘s New York Giants in 1921 and ’22.
Interestingly third base was the only defensive position of Baker’s 1,575-game big league career. A modest, clean-living man, Baker never drank, smoked, or swore. Voted into Cooperstown in 1955, Baker enjoyed eight years as a Hall of Famer before passing away in 1963.
Shown here is his ornate signature, Frank “Home Run” Baker.