Frank Home Run Baker: Hall of Famer and World Series Hero

Overview

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 ...

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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. Read more Show Less

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Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786423811
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/31/2005
  • Series: Hall of Famer and World Series Hero Series
  • Pages: 299
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2006

    A local look back

    Mr. Sparks has fulfilled a life long ambition with this work. It is an easy read and for a sports enthusiast, opens a window into a closed chapter of our nation's pastime. In following the life, career and character of a player few know much about but who is very highly rated by Bill James (the father of sabremetrics), Mr. Sparks shows the career of the dead ball era's 'Babe' in a good but honest light. The sparing with Connie Mack to be paid is an interesting sidelight, as is seeing Baker in his final years with the Yankees playing along side the real 'Babe'. This a very worthwhile book to own and read in depth. My copy is autographed and I do cherish it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2005

    Frank Home Run Baker: Hall of Famer and World Series Hero

    Barry Sparks book was interesting and informative. I couldn't put it down. My knowledge of the dead ball era was limited to tidbits about some of the players, ( Christy Mathewson ,Collins, Bender, etc). Barry¿s book, not only gave me a good appreciation of Frank Baker, but the whole era from 1909-1922. The effects of WW1 on baseball and the players refreshed similar memories of my childhood and WWII . It also refreshed many childhood memories of Shibe Park ,scene of seeing my first Major League Baseball Game in 1946 and numerous games when I attended Temple University in the early 1950¿s This Nostalgic trip expanded my knowledge and appreciation of the A's , the game of baseball, and Hall of Famers in the early 1900's. I remember my Dad and Uncle talking about these players but Barry¿s Book captured an intimate snapshot of early baseball and the deadball era, and has inspired me to make another trip to Cooperstown to spend more time focusing on the Hall of Famers, balls, bats, and memorabilia of this era. I concur with Michael Williamson¿s review that ¿ The whole story is told with an obvious love of the game and a justifiable reverence for an era before big contracts and on the cusp of the era of even bigger egos.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2005

    Frank Home Run Baker: Hall of Famer and World Series Hero

    I really enjoyed the book. It was informative and interesting and I couldn't put it down.The book gave me an appreciation of Frank Baker and the Dead Ball Era of Baseball from 1909-1918.The book has inspired me to make another trip to Cooperstown to focus more on the memoribilia and players of this era. The Book presents a great snapshot of baseball rivalries, schedules, Pivotal games, and World Series It gives an intimate picture of these great Hall of Famers and also presents the many problems they faced )i.e long road trips, the formation of the Federal League and WWI. The similarity to the Mexican League and WWII in the 1940's-50's was intriguing. I recommend this book to all Baseball Fans and Present Baseball Players in order to increase their appreciation of the accomplishments and sacrifices that were necessary to perpetuate the game of Baseball.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2005

    For baseball lovers...and history buffs!

    I received this book as a gift...and loved it! It's a painstakingly researched look back at a relatively obscure Hall of Famer from an even more obscure farming town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Barry Spark's book should surprise and please history buffs who might care less about baseball. And it captures the spirit of 'The Dead Ball Era' of major league baseball with even more detail. For example, we learn that the game was usually played with just one ball, which was retrieved after fouls and ended up stained with tobacco juice and beaten into lopsidedness by the end of a game. Best of all, we get to 'watch' the farm boy from Trappe, MD become a 'home run legend' by hitting the whopping total of 12 round trippers in a season, negotiate with A's manager Connie Mack, sit out, jump to the Yankees, and then be overshadowed by Babe Ruth. The whole story is told with an obvious love of the game and a justifiable reverence for an era before big contracts and on the cusp of the era of even bigger egos. There are probably a few more box score references than the average reader may need to get the flavor of the day. But Frank Baker...the man who used a 52 ounce bat to lead the Philadelphia Athletics to World Series stardom...definitely is real as you hit the last page. I thought it was a great gift!

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