top of page

“Home Run” Baker Is Dead

June 28, 1963 - John Franklin “Home Run” Baker (pictured right in 1921), a baseball slugger of the “dead-ball” era, died today at his home in Trappe, Md., at the age of 77. He suffered a stroke. The former Maryland farm boy, who played third base from 1908 to 1922 for the Philadelphia Athletics and the New York Yankees, was named to Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1955. He helped the Athletics win the 1910, 1911, and 1913 World Series. After a contract dispute, the Athletics sold Baker to the Yankees, where he and Wally Pipp helped the Yankees' offense. Baker appeared with the Yankees in the 1921 and 1922 World Series — both resulting in losses to the Giants — before retiring to become a farmer. Baker led the American League in home runs in 1911 with 9, 1912 with 10, 1913 with 12, and 1914 with 8. His lifetime average was .307. Baker received his nickname in the 1911 World Series, in which his Philadelphia Athletics beat the New York Giants, 4 games to 2. His home run off Rube Marquard won the second game. The next day, he belted another off Christy Mathewson, which tied the score. His single figured in the rally that brought the A’s the victory in the 11th inning. In his final days as a player, Baker saw his records obliterated by Babe Ruth and others. His career total of 93 home runs would now be regarded merely as a respectable two-season output for a Willie Mays or a Mickey Mantle. In 1951, Baker played in the annual Old-Timers Day game at Yankee Stadium, pinch-hitting for his old Bomber teammate, Earl Combs. He hit a single. It was his last time at bat. Baker never lost his love for baseball, and he followed the game closely.


bottom of page