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