The writing was on the wall for Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker.
Everyone knew retirement would be coming soon. In fact, it was a bit of a surprise that Baker had returned for 2023 after winning the 2022 world Series. That championship was all that he had left to accomplish. However, the lure of potentially being the first repeat champion since the 2000 Yankees.
That was not to be. The Astros perplexing inability to win at home, both in the regular season and in the ALCS, led to their ouster. That Game Seven loss has marked the end for Baker as well, as he told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he is ready to retire.
A look back at Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker
A baseball lifer, Baker’s time in the game began as a 26th round draft pick back in 1967. He made his major league debut two years later, finally sticking in the majors in 1972. Baker spent parts of 19 seasons in the majors, putting together a solid career. A two time All Star and a Gold Glove winner, Baker finished as high as fourth in the MVP vote. He produced a .278/.347/.432 batting line in his 8022 plate appearances, hitting 242 homers and 320 doubles while stealing 137 bases. Baker had six seasons where he hit 20 or more homers, including a career best 30 in 1977.
While he was a solid player, Baker made his biggest impact as a manager. He managed five different teams, bringing each franchise to the postseason. He ends his career with a 2183-1862 record, winning three Manager of the Year awards and the 2022 World Series. His 2183 victories are seventh in MLB history, further cementing his Hall of Fame credentials. Baker had one hell of a run in the game.
Yet Baker’s legacy had, for most of his career, been a narrative of what he had not accomplished. His struggles to win in the playoffs, and subsequently, the World Series, overshadowed a brilliant lifetime spent in baseball. Winning that championship did not define Baker, but it allowed his career to be given the due it deserved.
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker is ready to retire. We wish him all the best in the next chapter in his life.