This Day In Baseball History:February 15th
Frank "Homerun" Baker
Before there was Babe Ruth, Henry Aaron, and Willie Mays there was Frank “Homerun” Baker. A guy with 96 career home runs with a season-high of 12 is mostly forgotten today, but on this day in 1915, he was bought by the New York Yankees. Move aside, Babe Ruth, let’s talk about Frank Baker.
Early Life and Career:
Frank Baker was born on March 13, 1886, in Trappe, Maryland. He was the son of a farmer and grew up playing baseball in his hometown. After a successful high school career, Baker moved to Philadelphia to play for a semi-professional team called the Belmont Athletics. It was there that he caught the attention of Connie Mack, the manager of the Philadelphia Athletics.
Baker joined the Philadelphia Athletics in 1908 and played for them until 1914. He quickly became one of the most feared hitters in the American League, earning the nickname "Homerun" Baker for his ability to hit the ball out of the park. In his first full season in 1909, he hit 12 home runs, which was a considerable feat at the time. His power and consistency at the plate were instrumental in leading the Athletics to three consecutive World Series titles from 1910 to 1912.
Baker's offensive prowess was evident in the 1911 World Series against the New York Giants. In Game 2, he hit two home runs, including a game-winning blast in the ninth inning off of the legendary pitcher Christy Mathewson. He hit another home run in Game 3 and finished the series with a .375 batting average and four home runs. He became a household name and was celebrated as one of the best players of his time.
Baker's career in 1915 when he left the Athletics and joined the New York Yankees. In his first season with the team, he hit only two home runs, but he bounced back the following year and led the league with nine home runs. He continued to play for the Yankees until 1922, and in 1926, he briefly played for the Athletics before retiring from baseball.
He finished his career with a .307 batting average, 96 home runs, and 987 RBIs. Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955, his impact on the game is mostly forgotten today. He is remembered mostly for his sick name.
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