Rating the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

My rankings of the greatest baseball players ever, starting with number 1, in order.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2004
 
Number 101: Frank "Home Run" Baker.

Baker was purchased by the Philadelphia A's late in 1908, and became the regular third baseman in 1909. He was part of the "$100,000 Infield," a group of stars that powered the A's four pennants between 1910-14. They won the World Series in the first three of those years. Then, during the 1914-15 offseason, Baker's wife died, leaving him with young children to care for. He missed the entire 1915 season.

When Baker returned, A's manager Connie Mack sold him to the New York Yankees, as he was getting rid of all his stars. Baker settled in with the Yankees, perennial also-rans who were putting together a winning ballclub. As things were getting better, Baker, often contentious at contract time, held out the entire 1920 season over money.

Baker returned to the Yankees in 1921, but at age 35 he was now a part-time player. He spent that year and the next in New York as the Yankees won pennants, then retired. His nickname sounds odd for a player who never hit more than 12 homers in a season, but comes from his two home runs in the 1911 World Series that won ballgames for the A's. Baker was known as a clutch performer, batting .363 in 25 World Series games.

Baker earned 166.37 ratings points.

Baker's stats: .307 average, 1838 hits, 987 RBI.