Frank “Home Run” Baker

Hall of Famer and World Series Hero

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About the Book

In the decades before baseball fans became enamored of sluggers like Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx, very few players were identified with the long ball. Instead, the game was dominated by men like Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner, players who sprayed the ball around the park, stole bases and mastered the hit and run. In fact, only one player entered the baseball mythology for his slugging: Frank “Home Run” Baker.
Born in Trappe, Maryland, in 1886, Baker earned his moniker by hitting two game-changing homers in the 1911 World Series. That was the also the first year he led the American League in home runs, with the grand total of 11. Altogether, he led for four consecutive years (1911–1914), though he never hit more than 12 dingers in a single season. Playing third base for the Philadelphia Athletics and the New York Yankees, Baker led the way for the more Ruthian totals to come in the Roaring ’20s. His is the story of a young player who at the height of his career risked throwing it all away in a contract dispute with the legendary Connie Mack. It is the story of the deadball era and the transition to the game we know today.

About the Author(s)

Journalist Barry Sparks is a public and media relations specialist. His articles have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Writer’s Digest, Baseball Digest, Sports Collectors Digest and many others. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research and the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society, he lives in York, Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Barry Sparks
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2381-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1861-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. From Trappe to Philadelphia      3

2. Rookie Season      19

3. World Champions      35

4. Everlasting Fame      53

5. A Bittersweet Season      81

6. Redemption      98

7. Turmoil and an Upset      121

8. Retirement, a Bitter Feud and Rumors      155

9. New York’s Hope      176

10. Wartime Baseball      186

11. Huggins Takes the Reins      195

12. Babe Comes to New York      209

13. Return to New York and the World Series      219

14. The Final Season      236

15. Retirement      249

16. Life After Baseball      257

Chapter Notes      267

Bibliography      273

Index      277

Book Reviews & Awards

“extensive research and use of primary source material…informative”—Sport Literature Association; “thorough”—SABR Deadball Committee Newsletter.