Dusty Baker wins first World Series as managerNov 07, 2022 12:00AM ● By By Shaun Holkko, sports editor
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker shows off a baseball signed by himself. Photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner/MPG archive
HOUSTON, TX (MPG) – In the aftermath of the 2022 World Series conclusion, one statement has been said synonymously by people all around the country in various forms: “I’m so happy for Dusty.”
Sacramento local Johnnie B. “Dusty” Baker Jr. finally got the proverbial monkey off his back on Saturday night, winning his first World Series title as a manager after 25 seasons. Baker’s Houston Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games, clinching the series victory with a 4-1 win over the weekend.
At 73 years and 143 days old, Baker is the oldest manager in Major League Baseball history to win a World Series, surpassing Jack McKeon who was 72 when he won the title with the Florida Marlins in 2003. Dusty is now a two-time World Series champion, along with the ring that he won in 1981 as an All-Star on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I just knew it was going to happen, sooner or later, you stick around long enough, and you got good teams, its going to happen sooner or later,” Baker told ESPN minutes after the triumph. “I said if I win one, I want to win two, so I might as well go for two, we’ll see!”
Before beginning his MLB career, Baker graduated from Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks in 1967 where he was a four-sport athlete playing baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He still lives in the 916 during the offseason.
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Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg recognized Baker’s accomplishment with a tweet on Saturday night.
“I hereby declare Dusty Baker Day in Sacramento,” Steinberg tweeted. “We’ll make it official sometime very soon. Dusty is a great Sacramentan. So happy for him!!”
From River Cats to Astros
Baker is not the only member of the Astros who has spent time in Sacramento. Utility player Mauricio Dubón and relief pitcher Will Smith each played for the Sacramento River Cats.
Smith appeared in six games for Sacramento in 2018 and Dubón played intermittently for the River Cats from 2019-21. Dubón also went to school in Sacramento, graduating from Capital Christian High School in 2013.