Dusty Baker became 12th major league manager to win 2,000 games. He was also the first Black manager ever to achieve this milestone. AstrosTuesday night's victory over the Seattle MarinersHouston
Baker, 72 years old, began his managerial career with the San Francisco GiantsCurrently, he has led five different teams, the Giants included. Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Washington NationalsAstros to the postseason, the only manager ever to do that feat. He is also one of nine managers who have won pennants in both leagues. He steered the Giants to the World Series in 2002, and the Astros to the 2021 World Series. Terry Francona's 40 postseason wins in a row are eighth-most all-time.
Baker, with his famous wristbands and toothpicks, has been one the most memorable personalities in the game for the past three decades. This was on top of a 19 year career that saw Baker finish with 1,981 hits.
Even though Baker has 2,000 wins, the Hall of Fame case for Bochy remains controversial. There are 10 Hall of Fame members with more wins that Baker. Bruce Bochy is considered the most likely candidate for the December 2023 ballot. Baker is the only Hall of Fame manager with more wins, but all 10 Hall of Fame members have at most one World Series championship. Bochy was able to win three with Giants.
Baker's teams lost in his World Series appearances. He also suffered some heartbreaking playoff losses. These included Game 6 of 2002 World Series with Giants, Game 6 in the 2003 NLCS against the Cubs, and Game 6 in the 2015 NLDS with Nationals. All of these games could have been crucial in clinching the championship.
Baker's success in regular season makes him a strong Hall contender, particularly given his track record in turning around franchises or, in the case of the Astros, being a steadying presence after the sign-stealing scandal. Consider:
• The 1993 Giants went from 72 wins to 103, although they lost the NL West race to Atlanta on the final 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 losing seasons and had it back in the playoffs in 2010, also making it in 2012 and '13.
• Taking over the Nationals in 2016, they improved from 83 wins to 95 and won the NL East in both of Baker's seasons at the helm.
• Finally, he took over the Astros in 2020 after the sign-stealing scandal forced the firing of AJ Hinch. Despite the losses of Gerrit ColeFree agency Justin VerlanderHe was a great manager, leading the Astros into the ALCS in 2020, 95 wins, and the World Series in 2021.
Baker was the seventh Black manager to be hired by the Giants in MLB history. Baker had already retired from playing after 1986 and was not interested in management. However, he eventually joined the Giants as the first-base coach, then the hitting coach, for four seasons, before taking over as Roger Craig's manager after 1992.
He is one of only two Black managers in 2022 along with Dave Roberts from the Dodgers.
Baker said that “only a couple of things remain now, a champion and the 2,000th winning,” to the New York Times in the offseason. “I would be the only African American in that club. Know what I mean, brother?” I hope that I can convince other owners that Dave Roberts and I shouldn't be last, that we should have more.”
Baker is working to extend his contract for one year, just after last years World Series loss.
He said that he had “just got some unfinished business” at the time of his extension. “We're close. Every year, we get better. I am grateful to the organization for providing us with the pieces. James Click, our general manager, is also responsible for adding the pieces in the right time. We are proud of the team's togetherness. “I'm proud to be the leader of this team.”
Baker would become the oldest manager to win a championship if the Astros win the World Series under his leadership.