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.