On Thursday, October 26, the Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker publicly announced his retirement, after 26 seasons as an MLB manager. This decision is coming after the Astros suffered a heart-breaking game-seven loss to the Texas Rangers in a stunning Texas classic. During the post-game interview, Dusty was asked about the future of Houston as well as what’s next for him.
“We’ll see, I talked to my daughter I have two grandsons. I cheated them in a quest for another ring”. Baker said in the post-game interview.
He also mentioned his desire to watch his son Darren Baker chase his MLB dreams, without the distractions and time-consuming task of managing his own team. There will be a downside to Dusty’s MLB departure that was mentioned in the future Hall of Famer’s retirement press conference on Thursday.
He and Darren would be roommates each Spring Training and Dad would always pick up the meal tabs. Now Darren, a player in the Washington Nationals minor league system and graduate of Cal, has to “become a man” as Dusty noted.
“My father taught me how to be a man,” Dusty said.
That kid who grew up in Riverside, California in the 1950s and 60s, is now a 74-year-old respected family man, icon and Houston Astros franchise savior.
Dusty Baker Rebrands Astros
Baker took over the role for the Astros in 2020, right after the club had a controversy over sign stealing in the 2017 World Series. The Astros would then fire manager A.J. Hinch and bring Dusty into the fold while becoming the most hated team in baseball.
Dusty, as respected a person as there is in the game, deflected the “bad Press” away from the Astros players and front office by providing a winning atmosphere while building a solid team.
Under Dusty’s leadership, the club would then bounce back and have success for the next coming years.
Baker stepped in as full-time manager and then led the team to four division titles, two pennants, and two World Series appearances, along with a championship in 2022. Along with the Astros, Baker, who ranks seventh all-time in wins, managed the Cubs, Giants, and the Nationals. He’s the only manager in history to lead five different organizations to division titles. He’s also the seventh individual to win titles as a player and manager.
Baker’s regular-season managerial record stands at 2,183 wins, 1,862 losses, one tie and a .540 winning percentage. He ranks seventh on the all-time wins list behind Connie Mack, Tony La Russa, John McGraw, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Sparky Anderson — all Hall of Famers.
Dusty Was An All-Star Caliber Player
Dusty also played the game.
His career spanned 19 seasons and won a World Series ring. He played for four major organizations: Oakland Athletics, San Fransico Giants, Atlanta Braves, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Long after his playing days were over, he completed his illustrious career as a three-time Manager of the Year award winner.
Baker was not scared of the moment as a skipper. His leadership and knowledge of the game made him a beloved MLB father figure and “teacher,” as Dusty described himself on Thursday, flanked by Astros upper management and ownership.
Houston Astros shortstop and 2022 world series MVP Jeremy Pena was asked about his time with Dusty on Monday after their loss.
“I loved every single day I’ve gotten to spend with him in the ballclub,” Pena said Monday night.
“Dusty Baker is a legend in the sport, he has shown so much confidence in me”
Astros owner Jim Crane extended Baker for one year after the World Series win in 2022, giving him the opportunity to become the second MLBbro manager to go back-to-back.
Dusty Baker Left An Unprecedented MLBbro Legacy
Despite falling short, Baker did his job as he navigated challenges all season and eventually led the Astros to the ALCS for the fourth consecutive time, setting a standard of excellence that the franchise may never see again.
He leaves behind decades of memories and is the one consistent thread that ties a half century of baseball history together from Hank Aaron and Willie Mays to Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson to Mookie Betts. Baker’s presence is affirmation of everything recorded and reported in modern-day MLB history.
From the thrill of World Series victory to the agony of tough playoff defeats to his cultural contributions, Dusty left it all on the field.
Now Crane is going to be set with the tough task of looking for another manager. Baker spoiled the Astros organization with a winning culture, and now we have to wait and see who they can find to fill his colossal shoes.