Dusty Baker Finally Gets a World Series Title as Manager of the New York Mets
New York, NY (November 5, 2013) – Four decades after Dusty Baker broke the Major League Baseball single-season home run record to win the 1986 National League pennant, he finally received the World Series ring he hoped for.
Baker was one of 16 managers in the majors or minors to have served as manager in both the 1980 and 1986 World Series. His 2.35 ERA in the postseason matched by only two others, including his 1986 teammate Roger Clemens, the only pitcher to reach 15 wins in the postseason in 1986.
“It is almost inconceivable, to have any manager in the history of baseball have been able to win both the Fall Classic,” said Baker. “I’m very pleased for this team, and for the city of New York. This was supposed to be the second World Series, and then it turned out to be the first. It’s a great thing, to have it to do it over again.”
But how did Baker do it? How did two managers from different eras, with completely different philosophies and approaches, win the National League and World Series in the same year? It can be traced back to the work of several men, including Baker, the late Lee MacPhail, and the late Hank Aaron.
“I think part of it, I think it is a matter of being able to have the right people around you,” said Baker. “I don’t think about it that way. I have a good staff. I have some guys here that have helped me, and other guys that have helped me. They have been here for a long time, and I’m just able to rely on them.”
The New York Mets, the 2012 American League champions, had a very different pitching staff in 2012 than it had two years prior. The team’s most-used pitcher, Johan Santana, was suspended from the team for the final two months of the year.
But manager Dusty Baker knew that one of the strengths he had was the “pitcher’s duel” — the ability to strike out opposing batters and then strike out opposing