13. Home Run Baker
  1. General
  2. Awards
  3. Career Stats
  • Born: March 13, 1886 in Trappe, MD USA
  • Weight: 173 lbs.
  • Height: 5'11"
  • Bats: L
  • Throws: R
  • Debut: September 21, 1908
  • Final Game: September 29, 1922
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1911
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1911
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1913
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1913
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1914
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1914
  • Baseball Magazine All-Star - 1918
 
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When you are called "Home Run," it would make perfect sense that you would be an individual that won four Home Run Titles.  Although, this was the dead ball era, and the man in question did so with totals of 11, 10, 12, and 9.

That doesn’t matter, because John Franklin “Home Run” Baker was still the leader, and that was the moniker he was given.

Baker arrived in Philadelphia as "The Player to be Named Later" in 1908, and he would be named the starting Third Baseman the season after.  The Athletics had put together an excellent team, both with bats and arms.  The Philadelphia infield would be dubbed the $100,000 Infield with Baker and Third, Jack Barry at Short, Eddie Collins at Second, and Stuffy McInnis at First.

In his first full year, Baker would lead the AL in Triples (1909) and would begin his four-year run of Home Run Titles in 1911.  During that streak, he would also lead the American League in Runs Batted In twice (1912 & 1913), and he never had a season where he batted below .319.  He would also finish in the top seven in MVP voting each year from 1912 to 1914.

Baker was also a vital piece in the Athletics' three World Series Championships (1910, 1911 & 1913), and he batted at least .375 in each winning World Series.  He would have nine hits in each Fall Classic win and had three Home Runs overall in the post-season for Philadelphia.

Sadly, Baker was one of the many players that the Athletics were looking to jettison in cost-cutting moves, and when he tried to renegotiate his contract with Connie Mack, it proved pointless.  He sat out the entire 1915 Season, and Ban Johnson, who was then the President of the American League, pressured Mack to sell his contract, which he did to the New York Yankees for the 1916 Season.

His numbers with the Athletics would see Baker accumulate 1,103 Hits, 48 Home Runs, and a Slash Line of .321/.375/.471.

Baker would enter the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Third Base
  • Acquired: Reading (Tri-State League) sent Baker as the Player to be Named Later. The original deal saw Shag Shaughnessy to Reading 9/??/08.
  • Departed: Purchased by the New York Yankees for $37,500 2/15/16.
  • Games Played: 899
  • Notable Statistics: 573 Runs, 1,103 Hits, 194 Doubles, 88 Triples, 48 Home Runs, 612 Runs Batted In, 172 Stolen Bases, .321/.375/.471 Slash Line, 42.2 bWAR
  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    World Series Champion (1910, 1911 & 1913)

    Most Triples (1909)

    Most Home Runs (1910, 1911, 1912 & 1913)

    Most Runs Batted In (1912 & 1913)

    Highest Power-Speed # (1911, 1913 & 1914)

    Most Putouts by a Third Baseman (1909, 1910, 1913 & 1914)

    Most Assists by a Third Basemen (1909)

    Most Double Plays Turned by a Third Baseman (1910 & 1912)

    Highest Range Factor per Game by a Third Baseman (1912)

    Highest Fielding Percentage by a Third Baseman (1911)
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