Del Baker

Del Baker

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Del Baker

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Delmer David Baker (May 3, 1892 – September 11, 1973) was an American catcher, coach and manager in Major League Baseball. As a manager, he led the 1940 Detroit Tigers to the American League pennant. As a coach, he was known as one of the premier "sign stealers" in baseball.The New York Times, September 12, 1973

Player and minor league manager

Born in Sherwood, Oregon, and raised in neighboring Wilsonvile, Baker played extensively in the minor leagues. He did appear in 172 major-league games over three seasons (1914–16) with the Tigers, batting .209 with no home runs and 22 RBI. After managing Detroit's Texas League farm team, the Beaumont Exporters, to 100 victories and the 1932 championship, Baker was named a Tigers coach under Bucky Harris for 1933.

Tigers' coach and skipper

He remained in that role under new playing manager Mickey Cochrane when the Tigers won back-to-back AL pennants in 1934-35, and their first ever World Series title in 1935. Baker, as Detroit's "senior coach," took over as acting manager three times: in 1933, when Harris was fired at the end of the season, then temporarily in the midseasons of 1936 (when Cochrane took a leave of absence for a bout of depression) and 1937 (when Mickey was hit in the head by a pitched ball and suffered a fractured skull that ended his playing career).The MacMillan Baseball Encyclopedia

In 1938, the Tigers started poorly and by...
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