John Franklin "Home Run" Baker
Vintage Photo as a NY Yankee, circa 1920
Gold Baseball Charm from 1921
Chester Baseball Club
From the Frank Miler estate. Rare vintage photo of Frank Baker who was the "Home Run King" before Babe Ruth came onto the stage. This photo was take around 1920. At a later date, on the back was written the name and address of the original recipient's wife, for the fear if she lost it someone would send it back to her. There is a history between Frank Baker and the recipient, Frank Miller, who apparently recruited Baker to play on his Minor League team in Chester, PA. What is also intriguing is that we also acquired from the same estate auction a 14k gold baseball charm engraved “Chester Baseball Club 1921”. It is also engraved “FMM” for Frank Miller. Here is a NY Times article from 1920 discussing Frank Baker and Frank Miller. If you cannot access the link below we have a PDF copy of the article as it appeared in the NY Times on March 16, 1920.
Click Here for NY Times article
ALSO, From the Frank Miller estate. This rare vintage baseball 14k Gold baseball charm. It has a history behind it. The recipient Frank Miller had a minor league team in Chester PA in which he recruited Frank “Home Run” Baker after Baker decided to quit the NY Yankees in 1920. The article linkis above.
The charm is engraved “Chester Baseball Club 1921” and also “FMM” for Frank Miller. It was acquired from the Frank Miller estate along with the original Frank Baker photo included here. A great piece of Americana and Baseball history.
* We originally listed these two items separately but realized with the historical connection between them that they should indeed stay together.
was an American third baseman in Major League Baseball from 1908 to 1922, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. As a member of the famed $100,000 infield, Baker helped the Philadelphia Athletics win the (1910, 1911, and 1913 World Series. His legacy has grown over the years, and he is regarded by many as the best third baseman of the pre-war era.
John Franklin "Home Run" Baker (March 13, 1886 – June 28, 1963)
He was born in Trappe, Maryland, was a butcher by trade, and broke into the major leagues in 1908 with the Athletics.
Baker, who led the American League in home runs in 1911, earned the nickname "Home Run" during the 1911 World Series in which he hit a go-ahead home run off Rube Marquard in game two, and a ninth-inning game-tying home run off Christy Mathewson in game three. His home run crown would be the first of four consecutive seasons leading the American League in home runs. He hit 11 home runs in 1911, 10 home runs in 1912, 12 home runs in 1913, and nine home runs in 1914. In two of those seasons he also led the American League in runs batted in.
In seven seasons with the A's he hit .321 with 48 home runs, 612 RBIs and 88 triples in 866 games played.
New York Yankees
Baker played third base for the Athletics until 1915, when he sat out the entire season in a contract dispute. His contract was sold in 1916 to the New York Yankees, with whom he finished his career. He led the league in games played with 141 games in 1919.
Initially, Baker retired in 1920, but came back to play two more seasons with the Yankees, seasons that took him to two more World Series. He finished his tenure with the Yankees with a .288 batting average, 46 home runs and 375 RBIs in 676 games.
Following his retirement, Baker managed for two seasons (1924-1925) in the Eastern Shore Baseball League, and was credited with discovering Jimmie Foxx and recommending him to Athletics manager Connie Mack.