Dusty Baker’s 26-year managerial career is reportedly coming to an end.
Multiple sources both inside and outside the Houston Astros have told The Athletic that the 74-year-old World Series winner has informed the club that 2023 is his final season. A player and manager for 45 MLB seasons, Baker is currently on a one-year contract.
His Astros were eliminated in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series by the World Series-bound Texas Rangers on Monday night in Houston.
He declined to comment on his decision when contacted by The Athletic, but did say he was undecided following Monday’s 11-4 loss.
‘I don’t know, I haven’t had time to evaluate and think about my future because I’m down the list as far as, like, I’m not that kind of dude,’ he told reporters.
Dusty Baker’s 26-year managerial career is reportedly coming to an end after the ALCS loss
‘I don’t want to steal the spotlight or anything from these guys. You got to savor what we did, think about how we can get better and then I’ll evaluate my situation in my life,’ he continued.
‘And so, we will see. I’ll talk to my daughter. I’ve got two grandsons, …I really sort of cheated them for my quest. I got two dogs, hunting dogs, a year old, they wouldn’t even know me when I walk in the house because I haven’t been home since February the 10th.’
Baker, who has a career 2,183-1,862 regular-season record, is likely to remain in baseball in some level, according to The Athletic.
His wife, Melissa, told the outlet that Baker ‘has a lot of knowledge to offer an organization’ but said he has not made a final decision on his future.
‘I know he can help to build a winner,’ she said. ‘My husband just wants to win and is a winner.’
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker argues with the umpires before his Game 5 ejection
Dusty Baker of the Atlanta Braves poses before an MLB game at Shea Stadium in Queens
Astros manager Dusty Baker Jr. celebrates in the locker room after the 2022 World Series
Baker’s 26 seasons have been exemplary, although he never won a World Series until last season, when Houston beat the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.
He was hired by Houston in 2020 in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal that came to light in 2019, when it was revealed the team’s hitters were improperly deciphering opposing catchers’ pitch calls in 2017 and relaying that information to hitters in the batter’s box.
Baker, a former Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, began managing the San Francisco Giants in 1993. With legendary slugger Barry Bonds and former MVP Jeff Kent, the club won the 2002 National League Pennant, but fell short against the Los Angeles Angels in the World Series.
He’d move on to the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and Washington Nationals in the coming years, but failed to win baseball’s biggest price until 2022.
A Riverside, California native, Baker’s 19-year playing career was nearly as impressive as his 26-year managerial run.
The two-time All-Star finished fourth in MVP voting in 1980 before winning a World Series and a Gold Glove with the Dodgers the following season.
Baker also played alongside legends such as Hank Aaron, Steve Garvey and Mike Scioscia.
Then-Nationals manager Dusty Baker (right) is pictured with his son Darren in 2016
J.T. Snow pulls bat boy Darren Baker to safety as Rich Aurilia prepares to score in 2002
Three-year-old bat boy Darren Baker comes out to get Kenny Lofton’s bat during Game 3
These days, Baker’s 24-year-old son Darren is a minor leaguer with the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate in Rochester. Darren, though, is best remembered for a moment in Game 3 of the 2002 World Series. As a three-year-old bat boy, Darren prematurely left the dugout to retrieve the bat of Giants outfielder Kenny Lofton, who had tripled off of Anaheim Angels reliever Ben Weber in the seventh inning.
What the pint-sized Baker didn’t realize was that Giants first baseman JT Snow was barreling down at home plate.
Thankfully for Darren and his father Dusty, who was managing the Giants at the time, the quick-thinking Snow scooped up the unsuspecting bat boy and returned him to the dugout.
Had it not been for Snow, Darren could have been trampled by Giants infielder David Bell, who also scored on the play. Bell is now the manager for the Cincinnati Reds, another position previously held by Baker.
‘That play is always the first thing I get asked about,’ Darren told The Athletic in 2019. ‘We could have won an important game, maybe I did something to help the team win, and it’s always the first thing I get asked about.’
San Francisco won the game, 16-4, but lost the series.