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Happy Veterans Day to first-time World Series Champion Dusty Baker, Manager of the Houston Astros.
Houston Astros Manager Dusty Baker is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps after serving as a reserve from 1968 through 1974. The winningest Black manager in Major League Baseball history, Baker was born in 1949 and became the oldest manager to win a World Series when the Houston Astros took down the Philadelphia Phillies in six games last week.
Earlier this year, Baker became the 12th manager, and first Black manager, in MLB history to reach 2,000 wins. But the accomplishments and recognition are of little importance to Baker, at least in the midst of the season.
“I just think like Hank Aaron when he hit 715, you just want to get it over with so we can go on about our business,” Baker told MLB.com, who was on deck in Atlanta in 1974 when Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record.
Baker doesn’t just hold records and accomplishments as a champion manager either. He previously played in the MLB for 19 seasons, most notably with the Los Angeles Dodgers. While he was with the Dodgers, he was a two-time All-Star, won two Silver Slugger awards, a Gold Glove award, and became the first NLCS MVP. He also made three World Series appearances, winning one in 1981 as a player.
On Monday, right before the team’s championship parade, Baker signed a one-year extension to return as Manager to the Houston Astros and to fulfill the mission he feels he was called to do.
“We’ve got a great nucleus and we’ve got a great young pitching staff,” Baker said. “This is what I like to do and this is what I was called to do. I think God brought me here to Houston to do this. And I’d be going against what I was destined to do if I did anything else at this point in time. I prayed on it and my answer was, ‘Hey man, get your butt back out there and manage again.’”