Guide to the Frank L. Baker (1909-1985) Scrapbook
|Collection Title:||Frank L. Baker (1909-1985) Scrapbook|
|Creator:||Baker, Frank Louis, 1909-1985
|Language of Materials:||English|
|Abstract:||The Frank Baker scrapbook in large part features newspaper clippings documenting Baker's athletic career in several secondary schools and at Northwestern University.|
|Note:||Other Information:Staff from Northwestern University Library's Preservation Department cleaned, deacidified, mended, and rebound the contents of the scrapbook during 1998-1999. A few of the scrapbook's original pages were replaced while most were encapsulated during this treatment.|
|Acquisition Information:||Frank Baker's children donated the scrapbook to the University Archives on March 20, 1998 (Accession #99-68).|
|Processing Information:||Kevin B. Leonard; May 18, 1999.|
|Conditions Governing Access:||None.|
|Repository:||Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
Frank Louis Baker, Jr. was born on July 23, 1909, at Belle Plaine, Iowa. Baker attended Northwestern University as an undergraduate in the late 1920s. He was a member of the varsity football team as well as sophomore class President. In 1930, Baker made the all-American football team. Upon graduation, Baker joined the Green Bay Packers, worked as an actor, and was a member of the U.S. Air Force. Baker died in 1985.
Baker's father worked for the railroads and, as a consequence, the Baker family moved several times during Frank’s youth. He attended secondary schools in Norfolk, Nebraska; Huron, South Dakota; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Washington High School). Baker was a gifted athlete and an outstanding member of his high schools’ football, basketball, and track teams. By the time of his graduation, Baker had so distinguished himself in football that representatives and boosters from several universities vied to recruit him for their teams. He chose to enroll at Northwestern University.
Baker played on Northwestern’s freshman football team of 1927 and on the varsity football teams of 1928, 1929 and 1930. A quick and agile end, he was a major contributor to Wildcat successes in that era including the conference championship of 1930. Acclaimed by opposing coaches and contemporary sportswriters, Baker was named to numerous all-conference and, in 1930, all-American teams.
Baker was a popular and active member of the Northwestern student body. He served as president of his sophomore class and as a member of the sophomore and, later, senior social committees. Baker was a member of the N Men’s Club, an organization of athletic letter winners, and of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
After leaving Northwestern Baker joined the Green Bay Packers professional football team. He played on the league champion Packer team of 1931. Baker left football to pursue a career in motion pictures; he relocated to Los Angeles and signed a contract with MGM. He maintained an interest in athletics and recreational sports and established and operated a Boys’ Club in Beverly Hills. During the Second World War Baker served as an officer and pilot of B-17s and B-24s with the U.S. Army Air Force. He remained in the Air Force for a period after the war and, before retiring from the service, piloted the B-36 intercontinental bomber. Upon completing his military service Baker began a new career as a manager of apartment properties and settled in the San Francisco Bay area.
Baker married Mae Sands. The couple had three children: Sandra (Keller), Lucinda (Larrson), and Roberta (Whyburn). Frank Baker died on September 17, 1985.
Scope and Content
The Frank Baker scrapbook is a large volume measuring approximately 25 by 25 by 7 inches. In large part it features newspaper clippings documenting Baker's athletic career in several secondary schools and at Northwestern University. The clippings follow team accomplishments as well as highlight Baker's individual performances. The scrapbook is, of course, particularly valuable as a source of biographical information on Frank Baker. More generally, it is a colorful record of collegiate football during an era known for its great teams and renowned coaches.
A considerable number of the clippings relate to the great Northwestern team of 1930 and Baker's prominent role on that team. A few clippings trace Baker's brief career in professional football. In addition to clippings the scrapbook contains photographs and ephemera relating mainly to athletics, awards certificates, correspondence concerning Baker's college recruitment, and materials pertaining to his selection to all-conference and all-American football teams.