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Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Houston Astros’ Dusty Baker becomes first Black manager to win 2,000 games, 12th to do it overall

Dusty Baker became the 12th manager in major league history to win 2,000 games—and the first Black manager to reach the milestone—with the Astros’ 4-0 victory Tuesday night over the Seattle Mariners in Houston….

The 72-year-old Baker began his managerial career in 1993 with the Giants, and he has led five different teams—the Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals and Astros—to the postseason, the only manager to achieve that feat. He also is one of nine managers to win pennants in both leagues, guiding the Giants to the World Series in 2002 and the Astros in 2021. His 40 career postseason wins are tied for eighth all time with Terry Francona.

With his iconic toothpick and wristbands, Baker has been one of the most vivid personalities in the game over the past three decades—on top of a 19-year career as a player that saw him finish with 1,981 hits and 242 home runs.

Despite the 2,000 wins, his Hall of Fame case remains the subject of a contentious debate. Of the 11 managers with more wins than Baker, 10 are in the Hall of Fame, with Bruce Bochy viewed as a lock to get elected when he is eligible for the ballot in December 2023. All 10 Hall of Fame managers with more wins than Baker, however, also have at least one World Series championship, while Bochy won three with the Giants.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2022 at 10:04 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dusty baker

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   1. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 04, 2022 at 11:10 AM (#6075143)

Congrats to Dusty!

Contrary to what the article says, I can't see how his HOF case is remotely controversial at this point.

Who is #2 on the list of black managers by wins? Frank Robinson with 1,065? I think Dave Roberts (557 wins) is the only other active black manager, so it will be a *long* time before any others come close to 2,000.
   2. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 04, 2022 at 11:24 AM (#6075144)
Cito Gaston has 894 wins, so he might be in third on that list.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: May 04, 2022 at 11:31 AM (#6075145)

Contrary to what the article says, I can't see how his HOF case is remotely controversial at this point.


Agreed. I think the second pennant locked it up. He's taken five teams to division titles.
   4. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: May 04, 2022 at 11:55 AM (#6075148)
Good for Dusty. Despite no title, one of the consistently best managers of my lifetime. At a certain point, established managers can pick their jobs and/or are targets by teams looking to compete, but guys like Dusty and Jim Leyland really seemed to guarantee a .500 or better record in the second half of their careers.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: May 04, 2022 at 12:07 PM (#6075150)
he's in the Dan Marino/Charles Barkley wing, and they had no trouble getting in
   6. DL from MN Posted: May 04, 2022 at 12:11 PM (#6075151)
Cito Gaston has 894 wins, so he might be in third on that list.


Rube Foster has 740 credited wins so Cito tops him. Vic Harris had 575 in the Negro Leagues with 7 league titles and a Negro League World Series championship. Dusty is 255 games above .500 but Harris is +276.

https://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/history.php?tab=mngrs
   7. Astroenteritis Posted: May 04, 2022 at 12:22 PM (#6075154)
I've come to appreciate Dusty the manager. He was a near ideal choice to take over for Hinch in Houston, and the totality of his career makes him a certain Hall of Famer.
   8. John Northey Posted: May 04, 2022 at 12:58 PM (#6075156)
I'll never understand why no team hired Cito Gaston after the Jays dumped him after 1997. Here was a manager with a proven record of taking an underachieving team of vets and making them WS champs and not one ML team needed that? None? I recall he said he expected the same degree of respect white managers with inferior records got - namely, a recruitment push, not a 'come in and we'll decide between you and these 12 guys who have never managed in the majors before'. You know, like guys like Tony LaRussa (who had just 1 title at the time) and Pinella (just 1 title still) had.
   9. Smiley Face Posted: May 04, 2022 at 01:10 PM (#6075158)
Wait, we need some clarification here. Are we assuming Dusty Baker is black based on skin color? Has anybody asked Dusty if he (Ugh, I hate assuming a person's gender, but for the sake of clarity, I'll do it here) identifies as black? How do we know he doesn't identify as Asian?

For all we know, he could have voted for Donald Trump which means he's not black at all.

We need these concerns addressed before we can accurately claim he won all of these games as a black manager. Historical accuracy is important!
   10. The Duke Posted: May 04, 2022 at 01:12 PM (#6075159)
Dusty has been great for a long time. I'm not sure why he has to be referred to as a black manager. Can't he just be called a manager who reached a milestone only 15 managers have reached. Would it be any less noteworthy ?

It's a great achievement.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 04, 2022 at 01:43 PM (#6075165)

I'll never understand why no team hired Cito Gaston after the Jays dumped him after 1997


Totally agree. I think there was a perception that he just rolled the ball out and let his All-Stars hit, but...that's a good thing! This was an era in which management thought managers needed to bunt and steal and "shake things up." But it is kinda odd not even an Oakland hired him, or some of the poverty franchises like the Pirates or Royalas. Like how many chances did retreads with losing records like Buddy Bell and Jim Riggleman and Phil Garner get?

Of coures, there is also a more obvious reason Gaston didn't get hired.
   12. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 04, 2022 at 02:08 PM (#6075171)
A couple of points:
1) Baker is currently 12th in wins all-time, but he will get to 9th place this year, passing Bochy (2003), Durocher (2008), and Alston (2040) shortly. If he wants to manage for a few more years, he'd likely pass McCarthy, Harris, and Sparky Anderson (2194) to get into 6th place all-time. It's a heck of a career.

2) I think Baker is obviously a HOF manager, at this point, but he is a bit of a unicorn in baseball history. He has the most wins of any manager without a WS title, and except for Gene Mauch, Baker has by far the most wins without a title (Showalter is in 3rd place on that list, 1569 wins). There are managers without WS titles in the HOF, but they all have some other factor that got them in (Frank Robinson, for his playing career; Al Lopez, for having the career games caught forever; Clark Griffith, for his years running the Senators; etc.). And even among the managers with the most wins without a title, Baker's winning percentage is much better than most. He is at .534; Mauch was at .493; Showalter is at .507. So Baker hasn't just won by far the most games...he has won them at a better percentage clip.

3) I think it is obviously noteworthy that he is the first Black manager to manage this long, and he has been very successful. It is also the case that whenever he retires, he will be the leader in managing wins among Black managers for a long, long time. But I was surprised to see in several news outlets that his race was sort of the hook of the story, the "between the commas" point about Baker, and I think that is off.

I mean, only 12 managers have 2000 wins; and he is going to be 9th on the list by the end of July, and perhaps 6th by the time he retires. Isn't that the news here? He has accomplished almost nobody has ever achieved.

Also, he was a heck of a player, one of the only people in history with such high levels of both managerial and playing accomplishment and longevity. He also had a really interesting career: He played with Hank Aaron - was on deck when Aaron hit #715. How cool is that? He was one of the four guys to hit 30 HRs for the 1977 Dodgers, which I recall was a big thing at the time. He won Gold Gloves, and Silver Slugger Awards. He made All-Star games, and finished in the top 7 in MVP a couple of times. He had years where he for power and average...and other years where he walked more than he struck out...and years where he would steal 24 bases in 27 attempts. The whole toothpick thing. That moment where his little son got saved by JT Snow during the 2002 World Series. His batting stance was unique. He was pretty jacked back before people got into building muscles. In fact, he's 72, and he's still a bad-ass.

Anyway, to me, the fact he is Black and has won 2000 games is worth noting, but not in the headline. Instead, we should be focusing on the fact that he is one of the most successful managers of all time, one of the most interesting figures in baseball perhaps of all time, and has been a pretty important person in the game of baseball since the mid-1970s - almost 50 years ago. And his 2000th win is a great moment to celebrate all that Dusty Baker has been for a long, long time.
   13. Itchy Row Posted: May 04, 2022 at 02:17 PM (#6075174)
I think Dave Roberts (557 wins) is the only other active black manager, so it will be a *long* time before any others come close to 2,000.
There is this guy.

Baker was also the first Black manager to get to 1000 wins. He got there in 2004, two years before Robinson did.

   14. SoSH U at work Posted: May 04, 2022 at 02:18 PM (#6075175)
Also, he was a heck of a player, one of the only people in history with such high levels of both managerial and playing accomplishment and longevity. He also had a really interesting career: He played with Hank Aaron - was on deck when Aaron hit #715. How cool is that? He was one of the four guys to hit 30 HRs for the 1977 Dodgers, which I recall was a big thing at the time. He won Gold Gloves, and Silver Slugger Awards. He made All-Star games, and finished in the top 7 in MVP a couple of times. He had years where he for power and average...and other years where he walked more than he struck out...and years where he would steal 24 bases in 27 attempts. The whole toothpick thing. That moment where his little son got saved by JT Snow during the 2002 World Series. His batting stance was unique. He was pretty jacked back before people got into building muscles. In fact, he's 72, and he's still a bad-ass.


All that and no mention of his status as co-inventor of the high five.
   15. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 04, 2022 at 02:28 PM (#6075177)
But I was surprised to see in several news outlets that his race was sort of the hook of the story, the "between the commas" point about Baker, and I think that is off.

I agree with this. Baker is so far ahead at this point that it should have ceased to be newsworthy when he is the first black manager to win X games. His achievements are noteworthy on their own, not just for someone of his race.
   16. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: May 04, 2022 at 02:29 PM (#6075178)
Well said, Balboni. By my count, of the 50 winningest managers, only Joe Torre, Joe Cronin, and Cap Anson had more career WAR than Dusty. A baseball lifer in the absolute best sense of the word, and who has never gotten stale.
   17. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 04, 2022 at 02:35 PM (#6075179)
Dusty is the Forrest Gump of MLB. He was just there for so many cool things.

   18. mex4173 Posted: May 04, 2022 at 04:00 PM (#6075187)
Well said, Balboni. By my count, of the 50 winningest managers, only Joe Torre, Joe Cronin, and Cap Anson had more career WAR than Dusty. A baseball lifer in the absolute best sense of the word, and who has never gotten stale.


Missed a few. Clark Griffith, Fred Clarke, Hughie Jennings, Lou Boudreau, John McGraw
   19. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: May 04, 2022 at 04:02 PM (#6075189)
But I was surprised to see in several news outlets that his race was sort of the hook of the story, the "between the commas" point about Baker, and I think that is off.

I agree with this. Baker is so far ahead at this point that it should have ceased to be newsworthy when he is the first black manager to win X games. His achievements are noteworthy on their own, not just for someone of his race.


I don't think the "first black manager" qualifier diminishes in any way the achievement, which I agree is significant on its own, and it certainly matters a lot to Dusty. He debuted as a player more than 20 years after Jackie Robinson, but it would still be another 8 years before Frank Robinson became the first Black manager. When Dusty retired in 1986, there had been only 3 Black managers -- ever. As a guy who played well into the integration era but with so few Black managers, he's taken a lot of pride in the fact that he's been able to survive this long. His comments in the article show that.
   20. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 04, 2022 at 07:34 PM (#6075212)
That moment where his little son got saved by JT Snow during the 2002 World Series.
The then 3-year old Darren Baker is now playing in A-Ball with the Nationals organization, and had a walk-off sacrifice fly the night his Dad reached the 2,000 win milestone.
   21. GregD Posted: May 04, 2022 at 08:12 PM (#6075226)
Darren Baker also exchanged lineup cards with Dusty at a spring training game (at Dave Martinez’s suggestion.) Link

I believe Dusty immediately said no when asked if it was the proudest moment as a dad and said no.

“I was more proud of him that he graduated in four years from an establishment like Cal.”

That’s pretty cool

He also owns a small winery in Granite Bay and has a tasting room in West Sacramento

Ny times piece
   22. Rally Posted: May 04, 2022 at 10:31 PM (#6075258)
I think Dusty is in the same place as Joe Torre was as a HOF lock. Another teammate of Hank Aaron. HOVG career and a managing career that’s good enough even if he never played a game.
   23. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 04, 2022 at 11:01 PM (#6075273)
Does Mike Scoiscia have a shot? I ask because the 1981 Dodgers were the first WS champs without a player HOFer, and they might end up with three HOF managers.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: May 04, 2022 at 11:09 PM (#6075276)
Does Mike Scoiscia have a shot?


I'd say he's got a shot, but I think it's hard to see how he rises above Leyland, Piniella or Johnson (and behind Bochy and Francona). I think he'd do himself a favor by coming back somewhere else and picking up another couple of division titles or a pennant.

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