“Ken Griffey Jr, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Bryce Harper, Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Shin-Soo Choo…
What do they all have in common?
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker, 74, the oldest active manager in baseball, has announced his retirement.
‘Dusty Baker, one of the most successful managers in Major League Baseball history, met privately with Houston owner Jim Crane yesterday afternoon and informed him of his decision to step down as manager,’ USA Today reported on June 26 (KST), adding that ‘a farewell press conference will be held tomorrow at Minute Maid Park.
Baker told USA Today later in the day, “I want to thank Jim Crane and the Houston Astros for giving me this job and the opportunity to win a World Series. They’ve been great to me, and I think I’ve been great to them. I really appreciate the fact that Jim was upfront and transparent with me about everything.”
Baker’s future is still undetermined, with USA Today reporting that he “still wants an advisory position with the Astros or a team close to his hometown of Sacramento, California. Houston or San Francisco are the most likely candidates.굿모닝토토
“I’m still getting a lot of offers,” Baker said. Baseball is my life. I have a lot of life experience, and I know a lot more than people who have never played.” It sounds like he could have some sort of role as an adult in baseball.
Baker said that even if the team had won the World Series this year, he would have hung up the gloves. According to USA Today, that decision materialized in spring training earlier this year, but he didn’t make it public.
It was then that manager Bruce Bochy confided in Baker about his experience. When Baker stepped down as manager of the San Francisco Giants in 2019, he publicly announced that he would “retire as a manager after this season.” Three years later, when he took over the Texas Rangers this year, he reversed himself. The idea is to keep your retirement decision to yourself and not share it with anyone.
“I thought about retiring before this year,” Baker said. I didn’t tell Bruce Bochy because I had that conversation with him,” Baker said, “and it would have been a distraction to the team. I didn’t want to do that. It’s not good for the players.”
Baker’s battle with Bochy in the American League Championship Series (ALCS) went all the way to Game 7. After Game 7, he spent time with seven friends at the Westin Hotel in downtown Houston. The next day, he met with Crane and general manager Dana Brown to tell them of his decision.
Baker was asked by Crane to take the helm in 2020 after Houston was torn apart by an autograph-stealing scandal. The club fired manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Lunau, and Baker was hired shortly afterward.
According to ESPN, “Baker did exactly what Crane wanted him to do. He has led the team to success while keeping the spotlight away from the players who have drawn boos away from their home ballpark. Houston reached the ALCS in 2020 and won the AL Championship in 2021. They won the World Series title in 2022. For Baker, it was his first World Series title.
In his 26 years as a manager, Baker compiled a 2183-1862 (.540) record, including a 57-51 (.528) mark in the postseason. He has won three league titles, one World Series title, and three manager of the year honors. His career wins rank seventh all-time.
Baker is the 12th manager in history to reach the 2,000-win plateau. Ten of the previous 11 have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, with Bochy (2093) the only one yet to be inducted. A player is eligible for induction up to three years after retiring from active duty.
Baker won a World Series title as a player with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981. He is the seventh player to win a championship ring as a player and manager, joining Alex Cora, Joe Girardi, Davey Johnson, Lou Piniella, Dave Roberts, and Mike Scioscia.
He began his major league managerial career in 1993 with San Francisco. He went on to manage the Chicago Cubs (2003-2006), Cincinnati Reds (2008-2013), Washington Nationals (2016-2017), and Houston (2020-2023). Bonds, Sosa, Shin-Soo Choo, Harper, Verlander, and Scherzer are just a few of the superstars who have been chaperoned by Baker.