Dusty Baker World Series title as manager, facts and figures

Dusty Baker is a program World Championship-winning manager. The storied leader first reached the Fall Classic in 2002 with the Giants, losing in seven matches to the Angels. Nineteen years later, he returned with the Astros in 2021, but Atlanta defeated Houston. Finally, in the year 22, he win everything.

“I’m very happy that it took so long, because I was going away a long time ago, then it affects the lives of the players and their families and that’s it,” Becker said at FS1 after the match.

To say it has affected people’s lives would be an understatement. There are many unusual aspects to the baseball life of Baker, who made his MLB debut as a 19-year-old in 1968, and played until he was 37 (1986).

Baker was the youngest coach in the sport when he was hired in December 1992 to lead the Giants team in ’93. At the age of 43, his only managerial experience was in the inaugural year of the Arizona Fall League in 1992. He had coached the Giants for five years the year before 1993, after a stint as an investment broker in 1987, which came after that. He retired after the 1986 season.

“I didn’t think it would happen so soon, even though I had a plan to be a manager somewhere in five years,” Baker said when presented at a press conference in ’92. “I’m excited. I’m excited.”

Thirty years later, he looked just like that young man in 1992, saying, “Not anymore, now they’ll stop talking about it!” Finally winning it all and not having to hear novels.

Let’s just talk about it again, to properly appreciate Baker’s perseverance and put it in context. Here are nine stats and facts about Baker’s first title as a manager.

• Winning a title is not entirely new for Becker, it has been a long time. In 1981, the Baker and Dodgers won their first franchise title since 1965. He was with the club for two former post-season coaches, when the Dodgers lost to the Yankees in the 1977 and 1978 Fall Classics.

With this 22 title, Baker went 40 years between world championship victories. These are the most years between any consecutive world championships he has won as a player (at least one game played after the season) or as a manager, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The previous longest such run was 29 years, by Bob Lemon between the 1948 title with the Cleveland as a player and the 1978 with the Yankees as the manager. That’s right – we can quantify Becker’s tenacity, and that makes it even more impressive.

• Becker now has two titles spanning a 41-year span from 1981 to 2022. Never before in baseball’s history had their title-winning routes reached so many trips around the sun. The longest prior run between a first and last World Championship win, no matter how many winners in the middle, extended to Casey Stengel, according to Elias. He won in 1922 as a player, then in 1949-53, 56 and 58, not to mention the fact that the Giants won in 1921 as well, although he did not play in the playoffs.

• Baker is the seventh individual to win the World Championship as a player and manager in the Divisional Era (since 1969). Join Alex Cora, Joe Girardi, Davey Johnson, Lou Piniella, Dave Roberts and Mike Scioscia.

Won world championships as player and manager, divisional era (since 1969):

Dusty Becker: 1981 as a player with LAD, 2022 as a manager with HOU
Alex Cora: 2007 as a player with BOS, 18 as a manager with BOS
Joe Girardi: ’96, ’98 -’99 as a player with NYY; 2009 as a manager in NYY
Davy Johnson: 1966, 1970 as a player with BAL, 1986 as a manager with NYM
Lou Piniella: 1977-78 as a player with NYY, 1990 as a manager with CIN
Dave Roberts: 2004 as a player with BOS, 2020 as a manager with LAD
Mike Scioscia: 1981, 1988 as a player with LAD, 2002 as a coach with ANA

• Let’s go back to that experience as a player. Although the Dodgers didn’t win it all in 1977, Baker had an excellent NLCS, coming in at 0.357 with 1,295 OPS and two homers in four games against the Phillies. The 28-year-old won the NLCS MVP Awards. With the Astros title 22, he is now the only person to win a post-season player of the year and a world championship as a manager in his career, according to Elias. What a baseball life.

• At age 73, Baker was the oldest manager to reach the Fall Classic. Of course, that makes him the biggest winner as well. But wait there is more. He is not only the oldest manager to win a world championship, but the oldest manager or head coach in MLB, NBA, NFL or NHL history to win a championship, according to STATS.

• How long has Baker been around? When he debuted in management on April 6, 1993 with the Giants, the opposing team’s main hitter was Jeronimo Peña, father of Jeremy Peña, who won the ALCS and MVP World Championship For the Astros this is postseason. Chris Kamka of NBC Sports Chicago noted this distinct connection.

• We’ve talked in many ways about how long this has come. Baker won the World Championship in his 97th post-season run, the most at the time of his first World Championship win, according to Elias. The previous mark belonged to Roberts, who won the 2020 world championship in his 65th post-season game. Baker’s 97 post-season games are ranked fourth all-time, behind Joe Tory (142), Bobby Cox (136) and Tony La Russa (132).

• It’s not just about waiting after the season is over. It’s regular season time as well. Baker managed 3,884 regular season games, his 10th all-time, and also the most in the time of a manager’s first title. That distinction was previously made by Bruce Boshy, who has officiated 2,574 regular season games as of the 2010 postseason, when the Giants won it all.

• It is impossible to quantify how many baseball lives have affected Baker and his ability to stay in the game. But we can say that, thanks to Elias: 308 players have played at least one game with him and 558 players have played at least one game with him as their manager. That’s a lot of recipients of Baker’s wisdom.