Astros' Baker becomes 12th manager to win 2,000 games
Get that plaque ready, Cooperstown. Dusty Baker's on his way.
Baker joined an exclusive club on Tuesday, becoming just the 12th manager in major-league history to record 2,000 career wins, thanks to his Houston Astros' 4-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park.
Every member of the 2,000-win club is in the Hall of Fame, save for the still-active Baker and Bruce Bochy, who's not yet eligible.
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"I'm in a club now with some of the most elite managers to ever manage this game," Baker said postgame, according to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. "It's a hard game. Managing people is hard."
"I've been the luckiest person in the whole world to be in the presence of many greats on and off the field," he added, according to Matt Young of the Houston Chronicle. "I'm probably one of the luckiest men to ever even walk on this earth."
Additionally, Baker is the first Black manager to join the 2,000-win club. The 72-year-old thanked Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball's color barrier in 1947, and Frank Robinson, the majors' first Black manager in 1975, for allowing him to have a managerial career, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Following the milestone win, Astros players gifted their manager with a signed champagne bottle, while owner Jim Crane left him an autographed bottle of wine.
Baker entered Tuesday's game sporting a .534 winning percentage across 25 seasons with the Astros, Reds, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and Washington Nationals. While he's never won a World Series as a manager, Baker's led his teams to the playoffs 11 times and is one of only nine managers to win pennants in both leagues. He's also a three-time Manager of the Year winner, earning each of those honors while with San Francisco.
Baker's baseball career spans over half a century. Originally a 26th-round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 1967, the Riverside, California, native played 19 years in the majors and was a two-time All-Star before moving into coaching and managing.
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