Former Yankees: Five players you forgot were Yankees
By Matthew Orso
#1: 3B Frank “Home Run” Baker
Before Babe Ruth graced the world with his majestic home runs, there was another legendary homer hitter to play in the Bronx. Frank Baker joined the Yankees in 1916 following seven seasons with the Philadelphia Athletics. He won three World Series titles during his time with the A’s and hit .321 with a 152 OPS+ in 899 games.
From the start of the 1911 season through the end of 1914, Baker led the American League with 42 homers. That was 14 homers more than the next closest player (Sam Crawford, 28). Not only did Baker lead the league in total homers during that span, but he also led the AL in homers in each of those seasons as well.
Baker played six seasons with the Yankees. While he didn’t lead the league in homers, he did hit 48 blasts during his tenure in the Bronx. That was tenth-most in the AL during that time (and that’s despite missing the 1920 season).
Perhaps the best moment of his career with the Yankees came on August 10, 1921, in the first game of a doubleheader against the White Sox. Baker reached base safely in each of his five plate appearances, having recorded three hits and two walks. Two of his three hits were home runs. Of note, Ruth also homered in this game.
Baker finished his career in 1922. His 96 homers were the 17th most in MLB history following the end of the 1922 season. He retired with a career .307 batting average and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.
There are certainly other players we’re forgetting. Almost 1,500 players have worn the pinstripes over the years. There’s nobody who could remember them all. Let us know who some of your favorite forgotten Yankees are.