Houston Astros’ Dusty Baker named Manager of the Year

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker Jr. watches during the fourth inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – Sports periodical Baseball America announced Tuesday that Astros manager Dusty Baker has been named its 2021 Manager of the Year.

Baker is the third Astros manager to win this award, joining Larry Dierker, who was named in 1998, and AJ Hinch, named in 2017. This also marks the second time that Baker has won the Baseball America award. He previously received the honor in 2000 while managing the Giants.

In 2021, Baker helped lead the Astros to the World Series, giving the club its third appearance in the Fall Classic in the past five seasons and its fourth trip to the Series in franchise history. En route to the Fall Classic, the Astros first captured the American League West Crown. The Astros were 49-27 (.645) vs. the AL West and 45-32 (.584) vs. opponents with winning records. The Astros noted in its news release about the team that it had to navigate through Injured List stints by multiple everyday position players and starting pitchers.

In the playoffs, Houston defeated the Chicago White Sox in four games in the American League Division Series and the Boston Red Sox in six games in the American League Championship Series. In the ALCS, Houston rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win the next three games to clinch the pennant. In the World Series, the Astros were topped by the Atlanta Braves in six games.

Under Baker, the Astros have a combined 17-12 (.586) record over the past two postseasons, giving them more playoff wins in that span than any other AL club. Baker’s .586 postseason winning percentage as Astros manager is the best in franchise history.

The Astros noted Baker reached two additional milestones in 2021. When the Astros clinched the AL West title in September, he became the first manager in MLB history to win division titles with five different clubs. And, when the Astros advanced to the World Series in October, Baker became the ninth manager in history to win pennants in both the AL and NL.

For his career, the veteran manager is one of the most successful in Major League history, amassing 1,987 wins in his 24 seasons, which ranks 12th all-time.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.