Longtime baseball manager Dusty Baker has had one of the better career in MLB history. Recently, he reached the 2,000 win of his managerial career and it marked a special milestone for the legendary manager. There have been 11 other managers in the history of the sport that have reached the mark of 2,000 career wins but Baker became the first black manager to accomplish the feat. Of the previous 11, 10 are now in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The lone exception is Bruce Bochy who is not yet eligible to enter the hall but will when his time comes.
Baker needs just a few more wins to tie Bochy for the 11th spot on the all-time wins list and depending how much longer the 72-year-old manager wants to continue his career, he could climb even higher. Even before his accomplishment, Baker was a lock for the Hall of Fame due to the success he has had throughout his career. He is the only manager in MLB history to lead five different franchises to the playoffs. He also has taken two teams to the World Series despite both coming up just short of getting him a title.
Baker made his managerial debut back in 1993 with the San Francisco Giants and won his debut in a 2-1 win for the Giants over the Cardinals. His journey started there and has come full circle to where he is today. On the day that Baker got his first win of his career, 17 of the 32 current players that he manages with the Houston Astros, were yet to be born. The oldest player that was alive at the time was Justin Verlander, who was only 10 years old. It just goes to show the longevity of Baker and the successful path that the career has taken.
Baker is just a pure winner, and it has shown over his career. He leads by example is a truly a player’s manager that is able to get the most out of whatever team he is leading. When the Astros hired Baker, many believed it was just to cover themselves after their cheating scandal, but Baker has exceeded expectations. He has led the Astros to the ALCS and World Series in his first two seasons in Houston. He helped navigate the Astros through the rough patch of the scandal and did so with extreme class.
His prowess in both the clubhouse and on the field has earned him the respect of so many within the baseball community. He is just one of two current black managers around the sport today and this milestone surely means a lot to him. Being the first black manager to accomplish this feat is something that Baker doesn’t take lightly as he said that he is probably one of the luckiest men to ever walk this earth shortly after the game where his 2,000 win was recorded ended. Baker continues to be the example that many look up too and if he can get that elusive World Series ring, his legacy would be fully complete.