Dusty Baker, who won his first World Series at the age of 73, announces retirement from managing

Dusty Baker, the World Series winning manager of the Houston Astros, announced Thursday he is retiring after 26 seasons as a manager.

The 74-year-old leaves his position as one of the most successful managers in Major League Baseball (MLB) history.

Baker won his first World Series in 2022, becoming the oldest manager at 73 to win the Fall Classic, after the Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.

He also became the first Black manager and 12th overall in MLB history that season to win 2,000 career games.

Of the previous 11 managers to accomplish the feat, 10 are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The other, Bruce Bochy of the Texas Rangers, is not yet eligible for induction. Bochy’s Rangers beat Baker’s Astros in the American League Championship Series on Monday to advance to the 2023 World Series.

“I’m retiring from the field here in Houston, haven’t made up my mind yet what I’m going to do or where I’m going to go,” Baker said in a media conference at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

“I would first like to say thank you to Jim Crane and family for giving me this opportunity over the last four years,” added Baker, referring to the Astros owner and chairman.

“It has been a tremendous honor to be the leader of this ballclub,” continued Baker. “Thank you to the fans for their unwavering passion. The amount of love I’ve received in my time in Houston has been unmatched.

“Thank you to all my players and coaches for their many sacrifices on our multiple pursuits to a World Series title. You all gave me all you had every day and that’s all I can ever ask for.

“Lastly, I want to say thank you to all my friends and family. I have immense gratitude for all of the love and support you have shown me throughout the years and I can’t say thank you enough. This isn’t a goodbye, it’s simply a see you later.”

US President Joe Biden hosted the Houston Astros at the White House on August 7, 2023 in Washington, DC. to honor their 2022 World Series victory. - Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
US President Joe Biden hosted the Houston Astros at the White House on August 7, 2023 in Washington, DC. to honor their 2022 World Series victory. - Alex Wong/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

‘Hall of Fame person’

Baker compiled a 2,183-1,862 regular season record and was 57-51 in the postseason with the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals and the Astros.

The 74-year-old won three league pennants (Giants 2002, Astros 2021 and 2022) and his teams finished either first or second 17 times.

The three-time National League Manager of the Year (1993, 1997, 2000) is the only manager in MLB history to lead five different teams to the postseason and to win division titles with five different clubs.

His teams have reached the postseason 13 times, and he has thrice managed in the World Series (in 2002 with the Giants and the in 2021 and 2022 with the Astros).

“The success we’ve had under Dusty on the field is obvious, and the impact that he has had on our players, our organization, and within our community has been tremendous,” said Crane.

“Dusty is a Hall of Famer as a manager, but more importantly, he is a Hall of Fame person. It has been an honor to have him as our manager.”

Houston hired Baker in January 2020 following a cheating scandal.

MLB found the Astros illegally created a system that decoded and communicated the opposing teams’ pitching signs during their 2017 championship season. Houston fired then-manager AJ Hinch.

The Astros made the postseason all four seasons Baker was at the helm.

Prior to managing, Baker was a successful player with the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Giants and Oakland Athletics during his 19-year playing career.

The two-time All-Star won two Silver Slugger awards and a Gold Glove. Baker earned the National League Championship Series MVP with the Dodgers in 1977. He played in four postseasons, including three Fall Classics with Los Angeles, winning the 1981 World Series.

Baker is one of only two individuals to produce 1,800 hits as a player and 1,800 wins as a manager in MLB history. Hall-of-famer Joe Torre is the other.

CNN’s Jill Martin contributed to this report

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