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Smallthoughts : Old School Tuesday …Dusty Baker

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In light of Dusty Baker becoming manager of the Washington Nationals a job he has been interested in for some time (https://smallthoughtsinasportsworld.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/dusty-baker-interested-in-washington-nationals-managers-job/) we are going to start Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday by spotlight …Dusty Baker.

Before becoming a big league manager, Dusty Baker was a successful major league player.

Baker began his major league baseball career as an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves in 1968. As a Brave, Baker earned a spot as a footnote in history. On April 8, 1974, he was on deck when Hank Aaron hit home run 715 to pass Babe Ruth in career home runs.

A few of Baker’s accomplishments as a player include playing for the National League All-Star team in 1981 and 1982, winning three League Championship series in 1977, 1978, and 1981. Baker ultimately won a World Series title in 1981 with the Dodgers. (However, Baker played poorly during the series batting .167 with an OBP of .192.)[3]

After spending eight full seasons with the Braves and another eight with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as short tenures with both the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics, Baker finished his career as a player with a .278 batting average, 242 home runs, and 1,013 runs batted in. Baker played his final season in 1986.

Many believe that Baker played an integral part in the first ever high five, which occurred between Baker and Dodgers teammateGlenn Burke on October 2, 1977, in Dodger Stadium.

It was the last day of the regular season, and Dodgers leftfielder Dusty Baker had just gone deep off the Astros’ J. R. Richard. It was Baker’s 30th home run, making the Dodgers the first team in history to have four sluggers – Baker, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, and Reggie Smith – with at least 30 homers each. It was a wild, triumphant moment and a good omen as the Dodgers headed to the playoffs. Burke, waiting on deck, thrust his hand enthusiastically over his head to greet his friend at the plate. Baker, not knowing what to do, smacked it. “His hand was up in the air, and he was arching way back”, says Baker, now 62 and managing the Reds. “So I reached up and hit his hand. It seemed like the thing to do.

Smallthoughts:Old School Tuesday spotlights…Dusty Baker.

MLB debut
September 7, 1968, for the Atlanta Braves
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 1986, for the Oakland Athletics
MLB statistics
(through 2013 season)
Batting average .278
Home runs 242
Runs batted in 1,013
Games managed 3,176
Win–loss record 1,671–1,504
Winning % .526
Teams
As player

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6 Comments

  1. Great playing career and a very good managerial career but I can’t help but ask , does he know what he is letting himself in for by agreeing to a two-year contract with the Washington National , The ball club fired Matt Williams at the end of this past season , agreed verbally to make Bud Black Williams’ successor then after a week they let Bud Black go and hire Dusty Baker . Let me pose this question to you , how is that meant to be a recipe for success on the part of the Nationals’ front office led by GM Mike Rizzo , and team owner Ted Lerner ?

    • bklynboy59 says:

      Do you really think Baker had Good managing career…I dont. Wait until he has to make in game decisions and the Nats lose a game because of it.Rizzo is lucky to still have his job. If they don’t make the post season again he won’t survive.What recipe for success?

  2. He as able to turn average teams around albeit he never won a title as a manager. That being said I don’t believe he will be in a position to make the Nationals a real threat in the NL East much less the NL. When both Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper become free agents the Nationals will not be in a position to pay their agent Scott Boras is likely to be seeking for each player.

    Harper will likely be seeking Giancarlo Stanton type money and it will be the same with Strasburg . when you consider the contracts of both Zach Greinke and Clayton Kershaw. Baker has been given a two-year contract but the real issue will be GM Mike Rizzo and the off-season moves he makes. That will be the determining factor as to whether not the Nationals can really compete. Agree of disagree ?

    • bklynboy59 says:

      Baker is still looking to win his first world series…and in big moments he viper locks in a weird way and makes weird decisions. I’m not sold on him as manager. I think Rizzo is lucky to have his job right now. The first thing he needs to do is get rid of cancer clubhouse Jonathan Papelbon

  3. Mike Rizzo in the past four weeks have proven himself to be a pompous @ss. Fired two managers inside a month and is now on his third ? WTF !

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