As a player, Baker was drafted in the 26th round by the Atlanta Braves in 1967 out of Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, CA, spending parts of eight seasons with the team before being acquired by the Dodgers prior to the 1976 season.
In 1,117 games as a Dodger in eight seasons, Baker amassed a .281/.343/.437 clip with 144 home runs, 586 RBI, 179 doubles, and a 21.6 fWAR. He was named an All Star in back-to-back seasons in 1981 and 1982, earning top-10 in MVP votes in both seasons, while winning two silver slugger awards in both seasons. Baker won his sole ring as a player with the Dodgers, when they defeated the New York Yankees in the 1981 World Series.
As a manager, Baker spent ten seasons with the San Francisco Giants, helping them reach the 2002 World Series, four seasons with the Chicago Cubs, six seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, two seasons with the Washington Nationals, and recently wrapped up his fourth and final season as manager of the Houston Astros. Baker finished with a managerial record of 2,183-1,862 for a .540 winning percentage and received his first and only ring as manager when the Houston Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2022 World Series.
Steve Henson of the Los Angeles Times writes in-depth about the career of Dusty Baker, noting how the now-former manager is still undecided for what he plans to do after his career in baseball:
“I haven’t made my mind up on what I’m going to do or where I’m going to go,” he said. “I’ll spend some time with my grandkids and let the Lord tell me where to go and what to do with my life. I still feel like I haven’t done what I’m supposed to do with my life. I feel like the Lord has some great things ahead for me.”
Best of luck in retirement, Dusty. Baseball will miss you dearly.
With the inconsistent and injury-riddled rotation that spelled the Dodgers’ doom in the 2023 postseason, the Dodgers will have to put grabbing key pitching additions at the top of the team’s priority list. The Dodgers have already been linked to superstar and incumbent American League MVP Shohei Ohtani, but that signing alone will not suffice for a rotation that was spearheaded by a declining Clayton Kershaw, especially with Ohtani undergoing Tommy John surgery that will keep him off the mound for the entire 2024 season.
Erik Beaston of Bleacher Report lists starting pitchers that the Dodgers should consider going after this offseason, including potential National League Cy Young award winner Blake Snell, Sonny Gray, and Jordan Montgomery as options.
Dodgers fans will find it bittersweet to see 2020 World Series MVP Corey Seager back in the World Series— with the Texas Rangers. Caleb Nguyen of Sports Illustrated ranks the five former Dodgers who will be playing in the 2023 World Series, ranking Seager as the best among the five.
Houston Mitchell of the Los Angeles Dodgers breaks down the players who will be entering free agency and which players the Dodgers should re-sign in the latest edition of Dodgers Dugout.