Dusty Baker’s Legend Continues To Grow With Lifetime Achievement Award

Dusty Baker’s Legend Continues To Grow With Lifetime Achievement Award

On April 25th of this year, Baseball Digest announced the winner of their Lifetime Achievement Award, and this year it has been given to the great Dusty Baker. The award “recognizes a living individual whose career has been spent in or around Major League Baseball and who has made significant contributions to the game.”

 

As this is the fourth time the award has ever been presented, Baker has added to a list of all time greats who have received this honor, joining inaugural winner Willie Mays, Vin Scully, and Joe Torre. “I never thought that I’d be in the class of the people that received this award. I know that my late mom and dad would be proud of me. This is really special,” Baker said at the time.

 

Dusty had been in the league for 56 years as a player, coach, and manager. He played 19 seasons in The Show, primarily with the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers, and managed five teams between 1992-2023, including the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals, and Houston Astros. He is the only manager in MLB history to earn division titles with five different teams, and is seventh all time in managerial wins.

 

As a player, Baker was a two-time All-Star, a two-time Silver Slugger award winner and earned a Gold Glove in 1981, the same year he won a World Series with the Dodgers. He also copped the National League’s first ever NLCS MVP award back in 1977, when he batted .316, with three home runs and a staggering 13 RBI in just four games.

 

As a manager, Baker led three teams to pennants, once in ‘02 with the Giants, and back-to-back in ‘21 and ‘22 with the Astros. In 2022, in his 25th managerial season, he finally won his first World Series as a skipper, the final piece of the puzzle to his Cooperstown-bound career.

 

He became the seventh man in MLB history to win a ring as a player and manager. It took him only 3,884 regular season games and 97 postseason games before that first World Series, which were the most in MLB history for both. At 73, he was the oldest manager to ever win a title not just in MLB history, but the history of all four major North American sports leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL).

 

After retiring from managing in 2023, Baker is still in Major League Baseball as he is back in San Francisco with the Giants in a front office role. According to mlb.com, he joined the team as a special assistant to Farhan Zaidi, the team’s President of Baseball Operations.

 

There really isn’t anyone more deserving of this award than Baker. The impact he has had on the game is arguably second to none, as he’s set the highest of standards on being a great leader on the field, and an even better role model off of it.

Mookie Betts Scores Most Runs For A Dodgers Player In His First 500 Games

Mookie Betts Scores Most Runs For A Dodgers Player In His First 500 Games

Mookie Betts hopes to continue to do historic damage in MLB on Sunday.

Betts and the Dodgers close out a three-game series in Toronto against the Blue Jays, looking for the sweep. Betts had had his offensive hand in the first two games.

On Saturday, Betts recorded three hits, scored a run, and an RBI in the Dodgers’ 4-2 victory. In the opener Friday night in Toronto, Betts had two hits, scored a run and had an RBI. Now, Betts will try to up his hitting streak of seven games with at least a knock in the finale. In his last 10 games, he is hitting .475 with six doubles, six walks and seven RBI. 

Betts is white hot so far this season. He leads MLB with a .391 batting average. In all, Betts has 45 hits, nine doubles, two triples, 23 RBI and six home runs thus far this season and is looking like an early lock for the NL MVP. And he has a strong case. Including all MLB hitters, Betts, 31, is first in batting average, first in on-base percentage , and third in slugging. 

“I feel like we’re seeing the MVP version of Mookie Betts,”  Dodgers closer Evan Phillips told the media. “And I feel like this is who he can be for us, hopefully throughout the whole year.” 

The Dodgers back during spring training had asked Betts to switch from second base to shortstop. This can be very tough for some players who aren’t versatile but that’s not the case for him. Betts, who won six Gold Gloves as an outfielder, is proving to be a true reliable source for the Dodgers at the shortstop position. 

Phillips added more compliments about Betts transitioning positions and the impact for the team.

“I feel like the transition to shortstop, all the extra work he’s doing each day fielding ground balls, talking to Miguel Rojas about playing the position at a major league level – to see his focus level on a day to day, I think it’s helping him in all parts of his game,” Phillips said.  

 

With most athletes in the big leagues, it is all about the work you put in to gain the results that are needed. Betts, the former AL MVP, is one that takes a lot of pride in his development and learning everything to the utmost extent.  

“I take great pride in work,” Betts said to the media. “Learning a new position is work…. It’s been tough but it’s been fun. When you have a resource like Miguel (Rojas), it makes things a little bit easier. He’s made the process tough but fun, somehow.” 

Since joining the Dodgers in 2020, Betts has scored more runs than ANY player in their first 500 games with the team. With 412 runs scored it just so happens that the player he passed in the record books for the Dodgers was none other than MLBbro pioneer Jackie Robinson.  Robinson, who was the first to break down the barriers in baseball for Black players, was leading the Dodgers with this stat for almost 74 years. Jackie had 388 runs in his first 500 games, Mookie had 407 through his first 495 games which is impressive. 

“Especially as a leadoff hitter scoring a lot of runs is important but it also shows that I’ve had a lot of great teammates that drive me in, so that’s not just from me,” added Betts. 

With such a long season to go, Betts hopes to stay consistent and help lead the Dodgers’ stacked team – with three-former MVPs at the top of the lineup – to the NLCS and then to yet another World Series. 

For sure, Betts is leading the damage being done all over baseball by the Dodgers.

Queen Mamba

Queen Mamba

Kobe Bryant’s daughter, Natalia, threw the first pitch to a Kobe jersey-wearing Mookie Betts on Lakers Night at Dodger Stadium on Friday before the team hosted the Braves.

Dust-Up in Los Angeles

Dust-Up in Los Angeles

Dusty Baker got ejected on Saturday after his pitcher, Ryan Stanek, was called for an 8th inning balk that forced in the go-ahead run in the Astros’ 8-7 loss to the Dodgers.

Going For The Gold

Going For The Gold

Mookie Betts rounds the bases after one of his two home runs during the Dodgers’ Friday night, 8-4 win over the Yankees. Betts finished the game with 4 hits, 3 RBI, a double and a walk.