Dusty Baker through the years: From Dodgers powerhouse to Astros’ World Series Champion

HOUSTON, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 05: Manager Dusty Baker Jr. of the Houston Astros celebrates after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 to win the 2022 World Series in Game Six of the 2022 World Series at Minute Maid Park on November 05, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) (Carmen Mandato, 2022 Getty Images)

Houston Astros’ manager and baseball legend Dusty Baker officially announced his retirement on Thursday, and fans are looking back at his history.

Baker, whose real name is Johnnie, spent most of his life in baseball, not only he was an all-star player in the major leagues but also capped off a 26-year career as a manager.

RELATED: Houston Astros’ manager Dusty Baker officially announces retirement

We look back at some of the most prominent moments of Dusty Baker below:

1. His mother donned him the name “Dusty.”

Born on June 15, 1949, in Riverside, California, Baker picked up his nickname “Dusty” from his mother.

“We had a big backyard that my dad planted, had grass everywhere,” he once said. “It was like a football field, and then there was one dirt spot in the middle and that’s where I seemed to like to play. My mom didn’t want to call me ‘Dirty,’ so she called me ‘Dusty.’”

New York Yankees leftfielder Roy White jumps but can't reach the second inning home run hit by Los Angeles Dodgers Dusty Baker in the first game of the World Series on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1978 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo) (AP1978)

2. He played alongside many legends, including Hank Aaron.

FILE - In this April 8, 1974, file photo, Hank Aaron tips his hat to fans and teammates, including Dusty Baker (12, wearing batting helmet at center right), greeting him at home plate his fourth-inning home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the 715th of his career, in Atlanta. From the big "44" painted on the outfield grass at Truist Park, to heartfelt memories from Dusty Baker, Hank Aaron's presence permeates the World Series. Baker, the Houston manager, was on deck when the slugger hit the record-breaking 715th homer. (AP Photo/Joe Sebo, File) (AP1974)

Baker played alongside Hank Aaron during his first full season in the MLB, where he played for the Atlanta Braves in the 1970s. Multiple media outlets touted him as “The next Hank Aaron” after averaging .269 and hit 60 home runs.

2. He was credited for inventing the “high-five.”

Los Angeles Dodgers Pedro Guerrero (28) and Dusty Baker (12) give each other a high-five after taking game two 4-1 of their NL playoffs with Philadelphia, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 1983, Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo) (AP1983)

While playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977, he became part of the first “high-five” in baseball after he hit his 30th home run of the season. He and teammate Glenn Burke returned the gesture after hitting back-to-back home runs, becoming a magical sports moment in history.

At that moment, the Dodgers became the first team to have four players to hit more than 30 home runs.

“[h]is hand was up in the air, and he was arching way back. So I reached up and hit his hand. It seemed like the thing to do.” Baker once said.

3. Although he spent four years with the Astros, he spent most of his time as the manager of four different MLB teams

Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker, center, takes the ball from starting pitcher Johnny Cueto, right, as catcher Corky Miller looks on in the sixth inning during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, June 18, 2010, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Baker got his start as manager with the San Francisco Giants in 1003, where he recorded a 103-59. In 2002, he led the team to a National League Pennant.

He spent four years with the Chicago Cubs. Then. Baker joined the ranks in 2007 as the Cincinnati Reds manager. He struggled to get the team to bring winning records during his first two years, but he eventually turned the team around, until he was fired in 2013.

Before joining the Astros, he spent two years as the Washington Nationals manager.

4. The Astros’ 2022 World Series Championship was his first-ever as a manager

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker Jr. acknowledges fans after reaching his 2022 World Series champions ring during a ring presentation ceremony before the team's baseball game against the Chicago White Sox, Friday, March 31, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The 2022 World Series victory with the Houston Astros became a capstone to his career, winning his first ring. Many legends, including hall of famer Reggie Jackson said Dusty “finally got his due, and will cross that bridge to get elected to the (Baseball) Hall of Fame.”

The Astros also made it to the postseason during Baker’s entire tenure.

What memories do you remember about Dusty Baker? Tell us in the comments below.

About the Author:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 3, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.