We performed a site update on April 16, 2013. Please let the admin know if you User_talk:Admin#APRIL_16.2C_2013 encounter any issues. All updates have been performed.
From BR Bullpen
Johnnie B. Baker Jr.
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 187 lb.
- School American River College
- High School: Del Campo High School
- Debut September 7, 1968
- Final Game October 4, 1986
- Born June 15, 1949 in Riverside, CA USA
 Biographical Information
Dusty Baker, now a long-time manager, was an excellent player who never quite lived up to the hype about him. He had a substantial career in the majors, playing nineteen years, winning a Gold Glove, appearing in two All-Star Games and finishing third in the race for the batting championship two times.
His minor league career consisted of five seasons between the ages of 18 and 22. He hit .302 during his minor league career.
When he was young, he was thought by many to be the next Henry Aaron. Dusty broke into the majors at the age of 19 with the Atlanta Braves. After several cups of coffee, he became a regular at age 23, hitting .321.
He moved to the Los Angeles Dodgers at age 27, having a horrendous season in which he hit only 4 home runs with a .242 average. However, the Dodgers stuck with him, and the next year he hit 30 home runs. He also hit 29 home runs for them in 1980, and hit .320 for them in 1981 and .300 in 1982.
He finished out his career with three seasons in the Bay Area - one with the San Francisco Giants and two with the Oakland Athletics. He was on a division champion in 1969, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981 and 1983, winning the World Series in 1981 with the Dodgers.
While he never led the league in any major category, he was fourth in the MVP voting in 1980, third in batting average a couple of times, and fourth in home runs once. Based on similarity scores, the most similar player is Gary Matthews Sr., a player who came to Atlanta's outfield shortly after Baker left the Braves.
After several years as a Giants coach, he became the club's skipper in 1993. As a manager, Dusty has now managed 13 seasons with the Giants and the Cubs. He was the manager of the Giants in 2001 when Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs. He has had three division champions and six teams that finished second in the division - one of which, the 2002 Giants, was the wild-card team that went on to win the NL Championship Series and lost the World Series by only one game to Anaheim. In 2003, he came within one game of leading the Cubs to their first World Series in 58 years. He has now managed over 2,000 games with a winning percentage of .537. He has been widely criticized as a manager for favoring veterans over young players and for a strange choice of bench players, yet his record speaks for itself, while he is highly respected by his players for instilling a positive attitude in the club-house.
After the 2006 season, the Cubs parted ways with Baker by failing to offer him a contract extension. In four years with him at the helm, the club went 322-326. After sitting on the sidelines for a year, he was hired by the Cincinnati Reds on October 14, 2007 to be their manager for 2008. In his third season at the helm, in 2010, he guided the Reds to their first NL Central division title since 1995, but the team was swept in the first round of the postseason, losing the NLDS to the Philadelphia Phillies after Roy Halladay opened the series by throwing the second postseason no-hitter in history.
In 2012, Baker became the fourth person to get 1,500 hits as a MLB player and 1,500 wins managing in the majors, following Fred Clarke, Lou Piniella and Joe Torre. On September 19, 2012, with the Reds on the verge of clinching another NL Central title, he was hospitalized in Chicago, IL after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat. Bench coach Chris Speier took over the team on an interim basis. He was released from hospital on September 23rd and rejoined his team before its game, although he let Speier, who had clinched the division title in the meantime, continue as skipper that night. It was later revealed the Baker had suffered a mild stroke while in hospital. He officially resumed his duties as manager on October 1st. The Reds lost the NLDS against the Giants in 5 games, after having taken the series' first two contests on the road. Baker's contract ended after the season, and there was speculation that he would move on because of the health concerns, but on October 15th, owner Bob Castellini announced that Dusty had accepted a two-year cotract extension.
 Two Jokes
- What would you have if you got O.J. Simpson, Dusty Baker, and the architect of the old park in San Francisco together?
-- A butcher, a Baker, and a Candlestick maker.
- What do Dusty Baker, Rocky Colavito, Rusty Staub and Muddy Ruel all have in common with Reggie Jackson?
-- They want to have a candy bar named after them.
 Notable Achievements
- 2-time NL All-Star (1981 & 1982)
- 1977 NLCS MVP
- NL Gold Glove Winner (1981)
- 2-time NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1980 & 1981)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 6 (1973, 1974, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1977)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1973)
- Won a World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981
- 3-time NL Manager of the Year Award (1993, 1997 & 2000)
- Division Titles: 5 (1997, 2000, 2003, 2010 & 2012)
- Other Post-season Appearances: 1 (2002 Wild Card)
- NL Pennants: 1 (2002)
- 100 Wins Seasons as Manager: 1 (1993)
|San Francisco Giants Manager
|Chicago Cubs Manager
|Cincinnati Reds Manager
 Year-By-Year Managerial Record
 Further reading
- Dusty Baker (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, February 1985, pp. 30-32. 
 Related Sites
- See also a list of managers and their players