After 26 seasons as a manager, Dusty Baker, the Houston Astros’ World Series-winning manager, announced his retirement on Thursday.
As one of the most successful managers in Major League Baseball (MLB) history, the 74-year-old is leaving his post.
In 2022, after the Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games, Baker won his first World Series and made history as the oldest manager (73 years old) to win the Fall Classic.
During same season, he also became the 12th player overall and the first Black manager in MLB history to win 2,000 career games.
Ten of the prior 11 managers who have achieved this achievement are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The other, Texas Rangers’ Bruce Bochy, is not yet qualified for inclusion. In order to go to the 2023 World Series, Bochy’s Rangers defeated Baker’s Astros on Monday in the American League Championship Series.
At a press conference held at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Baker stated, “I’m retiring from the field here in Houston, haven’t made up my mind yet what I’m going to do or where I’m going to go.”
Baker was 57-51 in the postseason while playing for the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals, and Astros. He finished with a 2,183-1,862 regular season record.
The 74-year-old’s teams placed first or second 17 times, and he won three league pennants (Astros in 2021, 2022, and Giants in 2002).
The first manager in MLB history to take five separate teams to the postseason and win division titles with five different clubs is the three-time National League Manager of the Year (1993, 1997, 2000).
13 times of his teams have made it to the postseason, and he has managed three World Series teams: the Giants in 2002 and the Astros in 2021 and 2022.
According to Crane, “The success we’ve had under Dusty on the field is obvious, and the impact that he has had on our players, our organization, and within our community has been tremendous.”
“Dusty is a Hall of Famer as a manager, but more importantly, he is a Hall of Fame person. It has been an honor to have him as our manager.”
In January 2020, Baker was hired by Houston in the wake of a cheating scandal.
MLB discovered that, during their 2017 championship season, the Astros had illegally developed a system that translated and relayed the pitching signs of the opposition. Houston fired manager AJ Hinch at the time.
In each of the four seasons that Baker led the Astros, they advanced to the postseason.
Before going into management, Baker spent his 19-year playing career as a successful player with the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Giants, and Oakland Athletics.
The two-time All-Star was the recipient of a Gold Glove and two Silver Slugger medals. With the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series, Baker was named MVP in 1977. Playing in four postseasons, he won the 1981 World Series with Los Angeles and participated in three Fall Classics.
In MLB history, Baker is one of just two players to record 1,800 hits as well as 1,800 managerial victories. The other is Joe Torre, a Hall of Famer.
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