Major League Baseball has finally reached a milestone never done before by a Black manager. With his latest victory, Houston Astros manager, Dusty Baker has become the latest one to win 2,000 games in the Major Leagues, while making him the first Black one to do so.
Legendary moment for a legendary manager.
— Houston Astros (@astros) May 4, 2022
According to MLB.com, The 72-year-old Baker became the 12th AL/NL manager to reach 2,000 wins when his team, the Houston Astros defeated the Seattle Mariners in a shutout win at home, 4-0 at Minute Maid Park. Only one of the other 11 managers hasn’t reached the MLB Hall of Fame…. yet. That manager would be Bruce Bochy who has 2003 wins. The sole reason he isn’t in is that he is not eligible yet for induction into the famed institution. With the career that Baker has had as a player, executive and manager, he is destined for the Hall.
“I think about the people that made it possible for me to get in this position – my dad, Jackie Robinson, Frank Robinson, Cito Gaston – the guys who were minority managers ahead of me,” Baker said. “You look at guys like Maury Wills and some of the guys that I know. To me, everybody is making a bigger thing out of it than me because I’ve got work to do.”
This is just the latest record that Baker has broken. Just last season, the Hall of Fame-bound Baker became the first manager to win a division title with five different teams when the Astros won the American League West. He has led teams to pennants in both the American League (2021 Astros) and National League (2002 Giants).
Baker was coaxed out of retirement in January 2020 when the Astros reached out to him to replace their last manager, A.J. Hinch after he was terminated in the sign-stealing scandal that rocked baseball. He had two goals when he signed on, one was getting to his 2000th win and the second one, he just missed last year when he was denied the World Series championship when the Astros lost to the Atlanta Braves in six games.
He didn’t win last year, but he has won in the past. He won a World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a player in 1981 and won one as a coach when the San Francisco Giants captured the championship in 1989.