In an emotional end to an amazing career, Dusty Baker announced his retirement. He had steered the Houston Astros to a fantastic World Series victory.
After 26 glorious seasons, the 74-year-old Baker steps down as one of the most accomplished managers in MLB history.
Baker’s crowning achievement came in 2022. He became the oldest manager, at 73, to hoist the World Series trophy. His Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in a gripping six-game showdown. Baker also etched his name as the first Black manager and the 12th in MLB’s annals to secure 2,000 career victories.
Of the previous 11 managers achieving this feat, 10 now reside in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Amongst them, Bruce Bochy of the Texas Rangers eagerly awaits eligibility for induction. Bochy’s Rangers outplayed Baker’s Astros in the American League Championship Series, setting the stage for the 2023 World Series.
At a media conference held at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Baker expressed his thoughts. He stated, “I’m retiring from the field here in Houston, and haven’t made up my mind yet about my future plans.” Moreover, he graciously thanked Astros owner and chairman Jim Crane for the opportunity. He also thanked the fans for their unwavering passion, acknowledging the unparalleled love he received during his tenure.
Baker then paid tribute to his players and coaches, recognizing their sacrifices in their pursuit of the World Series title. “You all gave me your all every day, and that’s all I can ever ask for,” he lauded. Lastly, Baker expressed profound gratitude to his friends and family, emphasizing that it’s not a goodbye but a ‘see you later.’
Baker’s legacy extends beyond his World Series glory. Baker has 2,183 regular season victories against 1,862 losses. He left a mark on the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals, and, most notably, the Astros. Baker also secured three league pennants and a remarkable 17 first or second-place finishes with his teams.
His achievements include three-time National League Manager of the Year awards in 1993, 1997, and 2000. This is a distinction unique in MLB history. He’s the only manager to guide five different teams to the postseason and win division titles with all of them. Baker’s teams graced the postseason 13 times, with three appearances in the World Series.
Jim Crane, the Astros’ owner, hailed Baker’s contribution both on and off the field.
Baker’s stint with the Astros began in January 2020 amid a difficult period, marked by a cheating scandal. The Astros were punished for unlawfully decoding signs of other teams’ pitchers in their 2017 championship season. This resulted in the removal of their manager at the time, AJ Hinch. Under Baker’s watch, the Astros not only weathered the storm but continued to thrive in the postseason.
Before Dusty Baker became a manager, he had a fantastic 19-year career as a player with the Braves, Dodgers, Giants, and Athletics. He was a star, winning awards and playing in the 1981 World Series.
As Dusty Baker bids farewell to his baseball career, baseball fans are celebrating his career all over the world. He’s left a mark on the game, and even though he’s not coaching anymore, his name will always be linked to victory and the cheers of fans who love him.