Dusty Baker grew to become the twelfth supervisor in main league historical past to win 2,000 video games — and the primary Black supervisor to achieve the milestone — with the Astros‘ 4-0 victory Tuesday evening over the Seattle Mariners in Houston.
The 72-year-old Baker started his managerial profession in 1993 with the San Francisco Giants, and he has led 5 totally different groups — the Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals and Astros — to the postseason, the one supervisor to realize that feat. He is also one in all 9 managers to win pennants in each leagues, guiding the Giants to the World Collection in 2002 and the Astros in 2021. His 40 profession postseason wins are tied for eighth all time with Terry Francona.
Together with his iconic toothpick and wristbands, Baker has been one of the vivid personalities within the recreation over the previous three many years — on high of a 19-year profession as a participant that noticed him end with 1,981 hits and 242 house runs.
Regardless of the two,000 wins, his Corridor of Fame case stays a contentious debate. Of the 11 managers with extra wins than Baker, 10 are within the Corridor of Fame, with Bruce Bochy considered as a lock to get elected when he’s eligible for the poll in December 2023. All 10 Corridor of Fame managers with extra wins than Baker, nevertheless, even have no less than one World Collection championship, whereas Bochy gained three with the Giants.
Baker’s groups fell brief in each of his World Collection appearances and suffered some heartbreaking playoff defeats alongside the way in which — notably Sport 6 of the 2002 World Collection with the Giants, Sport 6 of the 2003 Nationwide League Championship Collection with the Cubs and Sport of the 2015 NL Division Collection with the Nationals, all potential clinching video games that his squads led within the seventh inning or later.
Nonetheless, Baker’s regular-season success makes him a robust Corridor candidate, particularly given his monitor file of turning franchises round — or, within the Astros’ case, lending a steadying presence in wake of the group’s sign-stealing scandal. Take into account:
• The 1993 Giants went from 72 wins to 103, though they misplaced the NL West race to Atlanta on the ultimate day of the season.
• The 2003 Cubs went from 67 wins to 88 and reached the NLCS.
• In Cincinnati, Baker took over a franchise in 2008 that had suffered seven consecutive shedding seasons and had it again within the playoffs in 2010, additionally making it in 2012 and 2013.
• Taking up the Nationals in 2016, they improved from 83 wins to 95, and so they gained the NL East in each of Baker’s seasons on the helm.
• Lastly, he took over the Astros in 2020 after the sign-stealing scandal compelled the firing of AJ Hinch. Regardless of the losses of Gerrit Cole in free company and Justin Verlander to damage, Baker guided the Astros to the American League Championship Collection in 2020 and to 95 wins and the World Collection in 2021.
When the Giants employed Baker, he grew to become simply the seventh Black supervisor in MLB historical past. When he had retired as a participant after 1986, Baker initially had no fascinating in managing; however he ultimately joined the Giants as first-base coach after which hitting coach for 4 seasons earlier than changing Roger Craig as supervisor after the 1992 season.
He’s one in all simply two Black managers in 2022, together with Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Solely a few issues are lacking now, a championship and the two,000th win,” Baker advised the New York Instances in the course of the offseason. “I would be the one African-American in that membership, know what I imply, brother? And I am hoping that I may also help persuade different homeowners that me and Dave Roberts should not be the final, that we should always have much more.”
Baker is engaged on a one-year extension signed simply after final yr’s World Collection loss.
“I’ve simply received some unfinished enterprise to care for,” he mentioned on the time of his extension. “We’re shut. We’re getting higher yearly. I thank the group for giving us the items, thank [general manager] James Click on for including the items on the proper time and the togetherness we have now on this staff. I am very proud to be the staff’s chief.”
If the Astros do win the World Collection this season below Baker, it might be one other milestone for him: At 73 by World Collection time, he would develop into the oldest supervisor to win a championship.