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Dusty Baker 2,000 wins: The Houston Astros manager hits a milestone during Tuesday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners

HOUSTON, Texas – Just call him Mr. 2,000.

The video above is from a previous edition.

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker won his 2,000 on Tuesday night. game, becoming the 12th manager in major league history to reach that milestone and the first black man to do so.

The benchmark win came in Houston’s 4-0 win over the Seattle Mariners and comes more than 29 years after his first win on April 9, 1993 in San Francisco’s 2-1 win over St. Louis.

Before Tuesday’s game, while still sitting on 1,999 wins, Baker was asked what it would mean for him to reach 2,000.

“You can’t look back because you have a lot of work to do in the future,” Baker said. “And you can’t be happy about what you’ve done until your career is over. Then, when your career is over, evaluate the whole situation. But while you’re at it, you don’t have time to do that.”

But Baker, 72, conceded that being the first black manager to have 2,000 wins makes the achievement more meaningful.

“That means extra,” he said. “It means more to the culture. It means more to society. It means more to my race and it means more hope for others to get an opportunity (so) I’m not the last.”

It is the latest milestone in a more than 50-year career as a player and manager. Baker has twice reached the World Series as a manager, last season with the Astros and in 2002 with the Giants. As a player, he played three times with the Dodgers, winning it all as a powerful left fielder in 1981.

Ten of the eleven other managers who have accumulated at least 2,000 wins are in the Hall of Fame. The only exception is Bruce Bochy (2,003), who is not yet eligible to play.

Baker’s career record is 2,000-1,745 and he is the only manager in major league history to lead five different teams into the postseason.

Baker amassed 840 wins in 10 years with the Giants, 322 in four seasons with the Cubs, 509 in six years with the Reds, 192 in two seasons with the Nationals, and 137 in his tenure with the Astros.

On June 1, 1999, he had 500 wins with the Giants in a 6-5 win over the Phillies. His 1,000. Victory came on August 30, 2004 when he led the Cubs to a 5-2 victory over Montreal. Victory #1,500 came on May 9, 2012, when the Reds defeated Milwaukee 2-1.

“It’s an honor to play for someone who loves the game and loves their team, who knows the game so well and has such a storied career,” said Alex Bregman, Houston third baseman. “To be able to learn from him, play for him and compete with him every day is very special and nobody here takes that for granted.”

There was a time Baker wondered if he would even get the chance to pursue this milestone. After Baker was fired from the Nationals after a 97-win season in 2017, he didn’t get another job until 2020 after Houston’s sign-theft scandal cost manager AJ Hinch his job.

“If there wasn’t a scandal, I wouldn’t be in this position,” Baker said. “My phone didn’t ring continuously. Three times I lost jobs and twice I won, and I didn’t get a call for two years… well, yeah, it’s just a matter of perseverance. And I’m here and I’m… where I’m supposed to be.”

Baker, who needs 41 more wins to climb to 9th on the career list, was asked if he could crack the top 10.

“I’ll be there as long as I live,” he said. “That’s my thing. As long as I’m alive and as long as you’re just doing your job – and my job is to win – then I’ll make it.”

MORE DUSTY BAKER STORIES:
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Houston Astros introduce new manager Dusty Baker.

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Dais Johnston

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