A Maryland farm boy, Baker was a powerful slugger in the dead ball era, leading or tying for the league lead in homers four consecutive seasons (1911-14), although 12 was his top total. Baker earned his memorable nickname in the 1911 World Series, when he hit game-winning home runs on successive days against the Giants’ future Hall of Fame pitchers Rube Marquard and Christy Mathewson.
The lefthanded hitter was the third baseman in Connie Mack‘s fabled Philadelphia A’s “$100,000 Infield,” together in the years 1911-14. Teamed with him were Stuffy McInnis, Eddie Collins, and Jack Barry. Connie Mack broke his team up rather than pay the higher salaries brought on by Federal League competition, and after Baker sat out 1915 in protest, Mack sold him to the Yankees in 1916 for $35,000.
In 1920, Baker was again out of the game, due to the illness and subsequent death of his first wife. He returned to the Yankees as a part-time player and helped the team win its first two World Championships in 1921 and ’22. His final at-bat was in the 1922 WS.
Baker managed in the Eastern Shore League in 1924-25 and discovered Jimmie Foxx, delivering him to Connie Mack after the 1924 season. He lived a quiet life on his farm near Trappe, MD, where he was born, making appearances at Old Timers’ Games in New York and Philadelphia until his death in 1963.