After a managerial career spanning 25 seasons with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals and the Astros, Dusty Baker has become the first Black manager in Major League Baseball (MLB) history to win 2,000 career games.
He is also the 12th manager to reach the 2,000 career wins. The historic feat came on Tuesday night after the Houston Astros defeated the Seattle Mariners 4-0 at Minute Maid Park in Texas, CNN reported.
“It feels great whenever you reach a goal,” said Baker at his postgame press conference. “I didn’t really have this goal until, I don’t know, four or five years ago, when I realized I had a chance.”
According to CNN, of the 11 other managers who have accumulated at least 2,000 wins, 10 are in the Hall of Fame. Bruce Bochy isn’t yet eligible.
Baker, now 72, is the only manager in major league baseball history to take five different teams to the postseason and has won two division titles. Also, he has twice managed in the World Series — in 2002 with the Giants and in 2021 with the Astros. His teams have reached the postseason 11 times.
His first win was on April 6, 1993, when the Giants won in St. Louis against the Cardinals.
“I think about Hank Aaron and Jackie Robinson and Frank Robinson, who helped me a lot, Bill Walsh, all the general managers and owners I’ve had, whether they fired me eventually or not,” Baker said.
“It just sort of added to my perseverance and determination and faith. I’ve also got to thank my detractors for giving me the motivation to go on because there’s a lot of people that doubted me in the beginning when I first got the job with no experience, a lot of them that doubted me even though I was winning.”
Prior to becoming a manager, Baker had a glowing career. “He was an All-Star, Gold Glove winner, Silver Slugger winner, NLCS MVP and a World Series champion,” according to CNN.