Infield Backup: Home Run Baker
Home Run Baker is one of the many players who contributed to the Philadelphia Athletics’ 1910, 1911 and 1913 World Series wins. The three-time World Champion played third base – and only third base – but he makes this list because of his power-hitting ability.
From 1911 to 1914, Baker led the American League in home runs. He had a career average of .307, which consistently ranked him in the top-ten among AL hitters. His OPS was consistently in the top ten, as well, and he led the league in RBIs in two consecutive seasons. Baker received MVP votes in four of his 13 seasons, although he never took home the actual award.
The Athletics’ left-handed slugger was one of the few power hitters in the deadball era. His 10-home-run-per-year average may not sound impressive, but considering his career spanned from 1908 to 1922, it’s a much bigger feat that it seems. Baker also swiped 235 bags during his career, so it’s not as if he was a one-tool player.
After seven seasons in Philadelphia, Baker headed to the New York Yankees. He was eventually inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1955 after being selected by the Veteran’s Committee.
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