Frank "Home Run" Baker (1886
) was the slugging third baseman
for the Philadelphia Athletics
dynasty that went to four World Series
in five years from 1910
, and won three. Baker was part of Connie Mack
's fabled "$100,000 infield
", along with first baseman John McInnis
, second baseman Eddie Collins
, and shortstop John Barry
Raised on a Maryland farm, Baker credited childhood farm work for the strength that allowed him to become one of the most fearsome power hitters of the dead ball era. Baker led the league in home runs four years in a row from 1911 to 1914 and finished in the top five four other times. He also led the league in RBI in 1912 and 1913 and had the most triples in 1909. Baker earned his nickname in the 1911 World Series against the New York Giants by blasting game-winning home runs on consecutive days against future hall-of-fame pitchers Rube Marquard and Christy Mathewson.
When competition with the new Federal League caused baseball salaries to jump dramatically, Mack sold off the $100,000 infield. Baker was so distraught at leaving the Athletics that he sat out the 1915 season. In 1916 he returned to the game and finished up his career in New York, helping the Yankees to their first two World Series appearances in 1921 and 1922.
Baker was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.
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