Last Thursday, with a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, The Houston Astros clinched the American League West division title. For Astros manager Dusty Baker it was the fifth time Dusty Baker won a division title. All five of his division titles came with five different teams. Baker is the first manager to win division titles with five different teams.
“I ain’t gonna cry,” he said. “But I get emotional; I’m human. … That’s why I came here. I’m glad [Astros owner] Jim Crane and the organization saw fit to let me manage this team.”
Before joining the Astros last season, Baker had last managed the Washington Nationals in 2017. In 2017 Baker led the Nationals to an NL East title with a 97-65 record, but they lost to the Chicago Cubs in five games in the NLDS.
After the playoffs, the Washington Nationals surprisingly fired Baker, and he retired. However, the retirement did not last too long; after Astros manager, A.J. Hinch, was let go, Houston called Baker, and he took the job starting last season. In 2020 the Astros made it to Game 7 of the AL Championship Series, but they fell short to the Rays.
After winning the AL West this season. Baker looks to win the World Series for the first time as a manager. In 1981 Baker won a World Series as a player for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 1989, he was a coach for the San Francisco Giants. As manager of the Giants in 2002, Baker helped the Giants win a pennant but could not beat the Anaheim Angels to win the World Series.
Dusty Baker Other Division Titles
Dusty Baker Won Division titles with the Giants in 1997 and 2000, with the Chicago Cubs in 2003, Reds in 2010 and 2012, and the Nationals in 2016 and 2017. Baker said every division title is special.
“Well, every one is special,” he said. “This one is really special because of the negative vibes that we got from all over the world. Our fans here were great. It was so great to do it here at home. It’s very special, especially when I was called back out of retirement and got a great group of guys and a great team. These guys are so together. That’s what I like more than anything.”
In 24 years as a manager, Baker has over 1,950 wins and has won Manager of the Year three times. When it is all said and done, Baker should take his place in Cooperstown in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
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