Saturday, June 7, 2014

Players I Love More Than I Should: Third Base: Frank "Home Run" Baker

IF you are just joining the blog, don't miss the other players in the "Players I Love More Than I Should series: Yogi Berra, Hank Greenberg, Joe Morgan and Cal Ripken.

More than 18,000 players have appeared in Major League Baseball games since the start of the league.  Some players have short careers that last one at bat or one appearance in the field.  Others have 20+ year careers.  As I read more and more about baseball history there are certain players I find myself enjoying reading about more than others.  It is obviously illogical since many of them retired, or in some cases passed away, long before I was even born.  I have no first hand experience in watching some of them play but for whatever reason their personalities and perseverance strikes me above and beyond the other players I read about.  Over the next few weeks I will be giving you short biographical histories*of some of these players.  Some of them will be Hall of Fame players.  Some of them will be players only casual fans may know.  Regardless, I chose one player from each position for this series to explore.  This week we will explore the Third Baseman  I chose for the series:Frank "Home Run" Baker.

The uniqueness of Frank Baker in this series of player profiles is that he is one of only two players from the dead ball era in the series (check back in a few weeks for the other in the pitching category).  For some, the dead ball era is considered pre-historic, almost inconsequential to today's game.  In truth, some of the best traditions and best legends of the game came from this time period.

By the sixth inning of a dead ball era game the ball was in horrible condition.  It was likely the same ball that was used for the first pitch (and every subsequent pitch).  If the ball had gone into the crowd it was expected that it would come back on the field to be put into play.  Of course if there was no other option, say the ball left the park in an uncommon home run, the umpire would introduce a new ball but otherwise the same ball was kept in use.  By the sixth inning the ball was lobsided, scratched, scuffed, blackened and generally unrecognizable as a baseball.  The idea of hitting the thing for distance was unheard of in the game.

The second game of the 1911 World Series was tied entering the 6th.  The Giants had taken Game 1 and if they could wrap up Game 2 they would be (as Red Barber used to say) in the catbird seat.  Rube Marquard was nearly unhittable for the first part of the game and he started the bottom of the 6th by retiring Bris Lord and Rube Oldring on fly balls.  Pesky little Eddie Collins doubled with two outs and as the batter walked to the plate the Giants bench may have relaxed.  It was Frank Baker and Marquard had owned him to this point in the game. The first pitch came in, a curveball, for a strike.  The second was the same.  Baker was in the hole 0-2.  Behind the plate Chief Meyers knew exactly what the plan was.  Baker could not catch up with Rube's fastball so Chief dropped one finger.  Marquard nodded in agreement.  As he set for the pitch Marquard changed his mind. He had already gotten Baker out on fastballs so there was no way Frank would be expecting a curve.  The ball came in and started to break.  As Baker would later say "I saw it starting to break and I busted it".  The ball launched to left field and landed beyond the wall for a two run Home Run.  The Giants bench deflated.   The Home Run lifted the A's.  Baker was just getting started.

Growing Up on the Farm (Literally)
On March 13, 1886, on a farm in Trappe, MD Frank Baker was born.  Baker's father was a farmer, plain and simple,  married to a distant cousin of Robert E. Lee.  Living in Maryland, one of the border states, Baker's father fought for either side in the Civil War but I am not aware of any information to indicate which side he would have joined, although being married to a relative of Lee might indicate he was likely to have been a Confederate.  Regardless, John Franklin Baker was born to the two in 1886.  At a young age he showed great signs of athleticism and joined the High School baseball team as an Outfielder.  He showed enough promise to get $5.00 a week as a semi pro player.

Fast Moving Rise
The stories of Baker's skills started to spread around the Maryland area and he was eventually signed by Jack Dunn of the legendary Orioles in 1907.  He was given five games to prove he could make it.  Dunn, widely respected for finding talent, saw Baker go 2-15 with two singles in five games and rendered his verdict that Baker was not a professional quality hitter. There was no way he would make it in the big leagues.

Baker was not far from the Maryland-Pennsylvania border and word had gotten around that there were other options available so, some how, Baker signed on for the 1908 season to play for the Reading Pretzels in Reading, PA.  Baker played in 119 games that year, collecting 135 hits, including 11 doubles, 13 triples and six home runs.  One more hit would have made a big difference as he hit .299 for the season.  10 other players from that team would go on to play in the majors.  Only Baker would truly have success.  He finished third on the team in batting, third in hits, first in triples and had three times more Home Runs than anyone else on the team.  No records are available about stolen bases but the numbers (especially the triples) would suggest that Baker had very good speed.  I do not have any information to tell us how many Home Runs were of the inside the park variety, however, given this was during the dead ball era it is likely that many of these were.

For those of you not from the area, Reading, PA is not far from Philadelphia and Connie Mack had scouts all over the Southern Pennsylvania area.  The A's, in 1908, were using future Hall of Famer Jimmy Collins at third base but it was clear Collins was done.  Collins hit only .217 and although he had been great, Mack needed a viable option for 1909.  The A's finished sixth in 1908, 22 games behind the Tigers who were in the middle of a three year domination at the top of the league.  Mack was getting reports that Baker was ready for the big time so at the end of the 1908 the outfielder, rejected by one legend, was given a chance by the legendary Connie Mack at third base.  Mack had several young players called up at the end of the wasted season including  Socks Seybold, Amos Strunk, Jack Barry and Shoeless Joe Jackson.  Baker got into nine games.  He got 9 hits, batted .290, scored 5, drove in 2 and had 2 doubles.  It was too small a sample size but with Collins quitting it was clear Mack needed a third baseman and Baker had potential.

The 1909 A's gave the Tigers a run for their money.  Still featuring the great first baseman Harry Davis and one of the greatest second baseman of all time in Eddie Collins, the A's were clearly a potentially strong team.  Baker had a great year.  He hit 19 Home Runs, stole 20 bases and hit .305, while scoring 73 and driving in 85.  If the offense of Baker and Collins was not strong enough, Joe Jackson had the potential to be great (if he could get his head on straight) and the starting rotation of Bender, Plank, Morgan and Coombs looked to give the A's a bright future.

1910 was the start of something special, something Philadelphia would not see the likes of for another 100 years.  Although Joe Jackson would not be part of it the way it was hoped the rest of the team rounded into form.  With a win on 6/21 the A's took over first place by half a game.  By 7/2 they were five games ahead.  By 9/2 they were twelve and a half up and they rolled to the American League Pennant.  The view of this match up now is completely different from how it would have been viewed entering the series.  It is now viewed as the final hurrah of the Cubs dynasty and the rise of the A's dynasty.  The view at the time would have been the Cubs steamroller continuing to pick up speed but the poor, young, inexperienced A's being little less than a pebble in the way.  The Cubs lost Johnny Evers at the end of the regular season but Heinie Zimmerman was a good replacement so the Cubs were the clear favorites.  Eddie Collins got the A's offense started in the bottom of the first with a lead off single but when he tried to steal Johnny Kling proved he was the best Catcher in the business by gunning him down to end the inning.  The Cubs were not able to get to Chief Bender in the top of the second so Frank Baker got his first World series at bat.  Baker ripped a ground rule double to left field.  Harry Davis sacrificed Baker to third and when Danny Murphy  singled, Baker scored the first run of the game.  In the third, with a 2-0 lead already and Bris Lord on second, Baker singled to earn his first RBI in World Series play.  He wasn't done yet.  With two out and two on in the 8th Baker doubled again scoring Eddie Collins.  The A's won Game 2 as well.  Baker went 1-4 with a walk and a run but Collins was the star of the game, going 3-4 with two doubles, two stolen bases, two runs and an RBI.  Game 3 was crucial.  The underdog A's could take control of the Series  or they could allow the Cubs to gain some footing and fight their way back into the series.  Strunk worked a walk to lead off the game.  A sacrifice bunt moved him to second but he had to hold on a fly ball by Collins.  Baker stepped in against Orval Overall.  Baker lined a single to center scoring Strunk and the A's were on the board.  The Cubs tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the inning and the A's took the lead again in the top of the second with two runs.  The Cubs came right back with two to tie and the fight was on.  Bris Lord started the third with an out.  Collins singled and Baker stepped up again.  He shot a triple to right field scoring Collins.  Harry Davis was hit by a pitch and a Danny Murphy three run Home Run put the game out of hand.  The A's took control of the series with a 12-3 win and the Baker-Collins offensive punch was clearly the reason. The team had a chance for a sweep and they took  a 3-1 lead when Baker doubled and came around to score on Danny Murphy's two run double. By the end of the game Baker was hitting .529 for the series.  The Cubs tied the game in the bottom of the 9th on an RBI triple by Frank Chance and won Game 4 in the 10th to avoid a sweep.  In the 5th and deciding game Baker went 0-5 and his average dropped to .409 for the series, although Eddie Collins stole the show with 2 doubles, 2 RBI and 2 Stolen Bases and the A's won their first World Series.

$100,000 and Creating the Legend

The A's First baseman for 1910 had been a long time great Harry Davis.  He had been playing since 1895 and had hit below .150 the previous season.  The A's were happy with the World Series win but an upgrade was clearly needed.  Davis was moved to a back up role and his starting spot was given to Stuffy McInnis.  The A's struggled badly out of the gate and lost 6 of their first 7.  By mid May they were 12 games behind the front running Tigers who appeared to be running away with the pennant.  The team went on a tear to catch up, and even take over first by half a game, by mid July.  But they stumbled again and fell back.  By July 20 they were five and a half out.  They turned it around again and by August 7 they were in the lead to stay, eventually winning the pennant by 13 games.  The team was led by the pitching and the infield stars of McInnis, Collins, Barry and Baker.  You could forgive the experts if they chose McGraw and the Giants as favorites  over the streaky A's.  Baker's 1911 performance was spectacular again.  He had already led the league in Home Runs in 1909 (he hit 4) and in 1911 his power exploded with 11 Home Runs.  His numbers were far from Ruthian but for the time they were spectacular.  His other stats were not bad either as he hit .334 with 42 doubles.

The 1911 World Series was where Baker truly gained the name of "Home Run Baker".  The Baker-Marquard face off was clearly an important part of that legend but it was only step one.  Step 2 came the next day.  With the series tied the Giants took a 1-0 lead into the top of the ninth.  With Christy Mathewson it looked like the Giants would take the series lead.  Eddie Collins grounded out to start the ninth and Baker stepped in to face the master.  Two quick curves for strikes again put Baker 0-2.  Matthewson knew that Marquard had failed with a breaking ball the game before so he decided to sneak a fast ball past him.  Baker figured Matty wouldn't throw three straight breaking balls so he sat on a fast ball and sent a rocket over the  fence in right field to tie the game.  In the 11th Baker singled to move Collins to 3d and scored the winning run on a Danny Murphy single.  Baker would hit .375 for the series with 2 doubles and the 2 amazingly well timed Home Runs.  The two big hits (combined with his 11 regular season Home Runs) gave Frank a new nickname, the name that would almost become his first name.  He was no longer Frank Baker. He was now "Home Run" Baker.

The 1912 A's season was a disaster.  The team was never truly in the race as the Red Sox stormed to the AL pennant and won one of the closest, most viciously fought World Series.  The A's, meanwhile, seemed to suffer from too much carousing.  Chief Bender and Rube Oldring were both suspended in early September for rumored violations of team rules. Despite the fall from the top for the A's Baker continued to improve.  He reached the 200 hit mark for the first time, led the league in Home Runs (10), and RBI(131). He also had career highs in average (.347), Stolen Bases (40)  and runs (116).   Despite all this there was no catching the Red Sox.

The A's were again led by their infield of McInnis, Collins, Barry and Baker.  They were so successful that Mack decided to reward the four of them.  Each player got raises.  When the salaries were added together they exceeded $100,000 dollars.  For a team to spend that much on payroll was questionable. To spend that much on just four players was unheard of.  Mack didn't care.  He had the best team money could buy and he knew the fans came to watch them.

The A's came back strong in 1913.  The Red Sox, who had ridden the arm of Smokey Joe Wood in 1912, suffered when Wood's arm could not hold up. (He had broken his thumb in the final game of the Series and was never quite the same).  Eddie Plank, Boardwalk Brown,  Bob Shawkey and Chief Bender led the pitching staff and Baker and Collins led the offense as usual.  Baker led the league in Home Runs yet again (12), hit .337, drove in 117 and hit 34 doubles.  The A's ran away with the AL and faced McGraw, Matthewson, Marquard and the Giants in the Series for the second time in three years.

Marquard started Game 1 for the Giants and Baker had a chance to strike first.  With two on and two out in the first Baker faced his old nemesis.  Baker swung and connected and as Marquard whipped his head to track the ball into left field he must have breathed a sigh of relief as he watched George Burns settle under the high fly ball to record the out.  The Giants scored first in the bottom of the third but Collins led off the fourth with a triple and scored on Baker's single.  Baker then scored on a triple by Wally Schang giving the A's a 3-1 lead.  In the 5th Baker lived up to his name again.  With two out Collins walked.  As Collins broke for second on the first pitch, Baker took strike one and Collins was in scoring position.  Baker stepped back in and stared down Marquard.  Marquard went into his motion, unleashed a breaking ball and Baker connected sending the ball into the right field bleachers giving the A's a 5-1 lead.  The A's would win the game 6-4 and Baker would have 3 hits, including the two run Home Run.  Matthewson dominated Game 2 and shut out the A's 3-0.  Baker had 2 of the eight hits allowed by Matthewson but no A's player had an extra base hit and the series was tied.  Baker went 2-4 in the game and drove in 2 as the A's took a 2-1 lead in the series.  Baker was hitting .538 for the series to this point.  Baker's 0-5 in Game 4 did not hurt the A's thanks to the even hotter bat of Eddie Collins.  In Game five Baker went 2-3 with a run scoring sacrifice fly and drove in a total of two runs as the A's once again claimed the World Series title.  

The other side of a Miracle
Baker's numbers were down slightly in 1914.  His Home Runs were down to 9 but he still led the league.  His average dropped a bit but it was still above .300.  The A's struggled over the first month or so but once they took over first place they continued to charge straight into the post season for the fourth time in five years.  Their opponents were a shock.  The Boston Braves, led by Johnny Evers, had started off the season poorly.  By the time 13 games of the season were gone the Braves were 10 games out of first.  By June 8 they were 13 and a half games out of first.  On July 5 they were 15 games out and then the turn around began.  While the Braves caught fire, the Phillies and Giants swooned and the Miracle Braves took the National League by ten and a half games.  Taking the National League was one thing but taking out the $100,000 infield was another.  The A's had a chance to take an early lead in the Bottom of the First but with two on and one out Baker grounded into a double play.  It would be the last chance the A's truly had as they lost 7-1.  Baker went 0-3 in game 2.  The game was scoreless into the 9th when the Braves scored the only run of the game to take a 2 games to 0 lead for the series.  The miracle run seemed to be continuing.  In Game 3 the game was deadlocked in the top of the 10th and it looked like Baker had come through again with a two run single with the bases loaded giving the A's the lead.  Hank Gowdy led off the Braves 10th with a solo Home Run.  The Braves would use a walk, a single and a sac fly to tie the game up and keep it moving forward. In the bottom of the 12th the Braves used a Ground Rule Double, an intentional walk and an error by Bullet Joe Bush to win the game and take a commanding three games to none lead.  Johnny Evers finally got his revenge for having missed the 1909 series when his Cubs had faced off against this same group of A's and his two run single gave the Braves a 3-2 lead in Game 4 and a World Series Miracle win.

Immediately after the loss the rumors started to circulate.  Several players from the A's jumped to the Federal League for bigger contracts.  Stories said some of the players even had the contracts in hand during the Series and looked to make some money on the side by betting on the Series before they joined the new league.  The theory goes that the bets were not all placed on themselves.  It was a precursor to the Black Sox scandal but there was no follow up, no investigation, no outrage.  It was ignored and of course never proven.  It is important to note that these are all just rumors.  No proof has been given to show that anyone on the A's performed less than at their best and the Braves certainly had some talent on their team.

The Split
Connie Mack certainly had some issues with the performance of the team in the World Series.  The team was dismantled. Gettysburg Eddie Plank officially jumped to the Federal League in December of 1914.  Three days later Chief Bender followed.  Three days after that Eddie Collins was sold to the White Sox who were building their own powerful team.  In January Jack Coombs was cut loose.  In June, in mid season, Herb Pennock and Bob Shawkey were discarded.  Of course some players remained but the players used to replace the stars were not up to snuff.

By the time the season started none of it mattered to Baker.  Entering the off season he had asked for a raise.  After all, he had played his best in the series, had remained loyal and rejected offers from the Federal League and with the other high priced players leaving, certainly Mack had some money in the budget to pay his stars.  According to Mack, Baker was already signed and had agreed to a salary.  Baker held out.  Mack refused to budge.  "I'll come back if Connie asks me to."  Mack didn't and told the world that he could get along just fine without Baker.  Mack felt that Baker was breaking his contract by holding out and said "a man who breaks his word once is likely to do it again.  I don't want Baker in my club."

Baker sat out the 1915 season.  He was unsure if his career was over.  There was no free agency at this point.  As long as Mack held the rights to Baker's contract he could not sign a contract with another team.  The Federal League collapsed after the 1915 season so that was no option.  Eventually the Yankees decided they would pay whatever Mack wanted for the contract.

Home Run Baker put on the pinstripes after a year of sitting home (and playing sometimes semi-pro ball) and tried to pick up where he left off.  He hit ten Home Runs, finishing second behind team mate Wally Pipp's 12, but his RBI total and average dropped significantly.  The Yankees were certainly an improving bunch but they were still a bit of a joke around the league.  Baker was a legitimate star for the Yankees, one of the first for the franchise, but it was still a long way from the success that was around the corner for the organization.  Baker had a few strong seasons in 1917 and 1918, even pushing his average above .300 in 1918, but not having Collins, Murphy, Barry and McInnis around him in the lineup meant that pitchers did not necessarily have to throw him pitches to hit.  1919 saw him hit 10 Home Runs and he appeared to be on the verge of regaining his status of the Home Run king.

The winter of 1919 was bad for baseball.  Rumors of the World Series swirled. Chicago was rife with suspicion and it was a bad winter all around.  Baker's wife contracted Scarlett Fever that winter and passed away.  Baker was devastated.  He decided to stay home and focus on his children for the year instead of playing ball.  The Yankees could have used him.  With Babe Ruth leading the way, the Yankees had their first legitimate chance at a pennant.  While the Yankees, led by Ruth, Pipp and Ping Bodie,  fought the Indians and White Sox and dealt with the Carl Mays-Ray Chapman saga, Baker was sitting home trying to reclaim his life.

Baker decided he was set to play for 1921.  The problem was Commissioner Landis was not so sure that he could. During his year off Baker had played a few games with some semi-pro teams (he certainly needed the money).  One of the teams his group was scheduled to play against featured Heinie Zimmerman, a player banned by Commissioner Landis.  Landis had declared that any player who played with or against the players banned by the league could no longer play in the majors.  An investigation was launched and Baker finally had some luck.  An appeal from Yankees manager Miller Huggins pointed out that the game set to be played against Zimmerman was actually rained out so techincially Baker never faced off against the banned player.  Landis reviewed it and finally  agreed that Baker could play.  It had taken Baker a while to decide if he wanted to come back after his daughter fell ill but her recovery and his need to earn a living, made up his mind for him.  Baker was cleared to play a week into the season but with Aaron Ward performing well Baker rode the bench at first.  When he did get into the games he struggled.  Before the month ended  Baker was on the bench with a leg injury just as he had brought his average up to .300.  He was back in the lineup by June 3 but on August 20 (the one year anniversary of Ray Chapman's death) he was taken out of the lineup with another leg injury.  It would essentially end his year.  He would return on September 3, but would only play in ten more games, even leaving the team for a little bit with the passing of his  mother.  The Yankees succeeded with Aaron Ward at third base.  Despite the difficulty Baker finished the year with a .294 average and 9 Home Runs.

The Yankees reached their first World Series in 1921.  They faced off against the rival Giants and took the first two games easily.  Baker sat by and watched.  Game 3 was not nearly as fun for the Yankees.  It was a 13-5 beating and although Baker got into the game in the 9th as a pinch hitter he flew out to left in a lost cause.  The Yankees took a three games to 2 lead (the series was a best of nine) but in Game 6 the Giants tied the series back up.  Baker was again used as a pinch hitter in a losing cause and again failed in his only at bat.  For Game 7 he started on the bench but when Mike McNally tore ligaments in his shoulder sliding into second Baker took over at third.  He went 2-3 in the game but the Giants took the lead in the Series with a 2-1 win.  Baker got a start in the final game of the series as McNally was out but unfortunately so was Ruth.  He had an abscess on his arm so dangerously infected that amputation was not out of the question.  Baker went 0-3 and the Giants scored an unearned run on an error by Roger Peckinpaugh.  The Giants won the game and the World Series with a 1-0 victory.

1922 was Baker's final year. He played in only  69 games as the Yankees picked up Joe Dugan for the hot corner.  Injuries, age and the constant tragedy of his life had slowly taken their toll on the once vibrant young man.  The Yankees reached the World Series again but were swept (with one tie) by the Giants.  Baker played in one game as a pinch hitter but went hitless.  It was his final at bat.

John Franklin "Home Run"Baker retired with a .307 lifetime average, 96 Home Runs, 315 doubles, 103 triples and two World Series titles.

Baker walked away from the game but his impact was not done.  Baker still worked as a scout for the Yankees.  He found players here and there and he found one who he knew could not miss.  He approached the Yankees and told them this guy could not miss.  The Yankees passed.  They already had Bob Meusel, Lou Gehrig, and Babe Ruth.  Why the hell would they need another bat?  Rejected, Baker approached Connie Mack.  Mack made the investment and got the best deal of all time. Mack forever thanked Baker for bringing Jimmie Foxx to the A's organization, theoretically making up for the contract dispute of 1915.

Baker's name first appeared on a Hall of Fame ballot in 1936.  He received 0.6% of the vote.  Of course that was the first ever vote so he fell behind names like Ruth, Cobb, Alexander, Speaker, Young and many others.  He picked up some votes in his second year reaching 6.5% but still with names like Nap LaJoie,George Sisler and Ed Delahanty it was a tough field to try to get ahead of.  His voting results yo-yo'd from year to year.  They went to 12.2 to 10.9 back up to 16.7 then down to 10.5 up again to13.7, 19.3 and as high as 30.4 before dropping again to 3.3, 2.4 and finally 3.5.  In 1955 the Veteran's Committee finally made the choice that should have been made years before.  Joining Joe DiMaggio, Ted Lyons, Dazzy Vance and Gabby Hartnett, the Veteran's Committee elected Ray Schalk and Frank "Home Run" Baker.

*This is not intended as a full biography and due to space I have done my best to summarize the life of the players in this series.  For further information on Frank "Home Run" Baker please check out:

Ken Burns Baseball


Cobb:A Biography by Al Stump
The Ultimate Philadelphia Athletics Reference Book 1901-1954 by Ted Taylor
My Life in Baseball: The True Record by Ty Cobb, Al Stump and Charles C Alexander
Mack, McGraw and the 1913 Baseball Season by Richard Adler
Tinker Evers and Chance: A Triple Biography by Gil Bogen
The First Fall Classic:  The Red Sox, The Giants and the Cast of Players, Pugs and  Politicos Who Reinvented the World Series in 1912 by Mike Vacarro
1921: The Yankees, the Giants and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York  by Lyle Spatz, Steven Steinberg and Charles C. Alexander
The National Baseball Hall of Fame Almanac (2013 edition) by Baseball America

The $100,000 Infield was made up originally of Harry Davis, Eddie Collins, Jack Barry and Frank Baker.  Davis was replaced by Stuffy McInnis at First Base.  The group won the World Series in 1910, 1911 and 1913.  After the 1914 loss to the Miracle Braves Connie Mack broke up the championship team.  How many World Series titles did the group win after leaving the Athletics?

Answer to Last Week's Question:
Cal and Billy Ripken combined for 451 Home Runs.  The three DiMaggio brothers totaled 573 (Dom had 87, Joe had 361 and Vince had 125).  The Alomar brothers (Roberto 210 and Sandy Jr 112) had 322 total.  The Cansecos (Jose at 462 and Ozzie at 0) totaled 462.  There are three current Molina brothers in the majors (Jose currently has 213, Bengie is currently at 144 and Yadier is currently at 92 for a current total of 449).  The record, however, is held by the Aaron brothers.  Hank hit 755 career Home Runs and his brother Tommie hit a total of 13 giving the family a total of 768. 


  1. Great article.
    I had no idea they tried to keep the same baseball in the game as long as possible. Reminds me of when I played high school and summer league baseball. We would use 2 baseballs for the entire 9 inning game. it disgusts me on how in todays game they throw the ball out if it has a speck of dirt. Oooh the ball has dirt in it.
    When we would play ball at the playground we would wrap the ball in black tape if the stitching would come apart. We were all too poor to buy a new ball.
    Was Eddie Collins any relation to Jimmy Collins?
    What a tragedy, to lose your wife, mother and have your daughter seriously ill in a short period of time. He is certainly in life's hall of fame.
    Interesting how "Home Run" ended his playing career as a Yankee with Babe Ruth starting his with the Yanks.
    I was amazed how he worked as scout for the Yanks and was able to tell a rival about a player even though the Yanks rejected the player.
    Am glad Home Run Baker is in the Hall of Fame. with stats like his he should be.
    I have no idea on the trivia.


  2. He certainly led an interesting life. I wonder why his name isn't as popular or as heavily spread as other "legends" of the era?


Have questions about something in this or a former post? Have a suggestion for a future post? Want more information on a specific team, player, season or game? I welcome the feedback, so feel free to leave a comment in the box or email me at baseballeras (at) gmail (dot) com.