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.