Dusty Baker, last serving as the manager for the Houston Astros, has signed a deal to return to the San Francisco Giants. In what will be his third stint with the West Coast team, he will serve as a special assistant in the front office, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The 74-year-old Baker could be signing up for his last stint in his Hall of Fame career.
The San Francisco Giants make one of the greatest free agent signings of the winter:
Future Hall of Fame manager,
Baker was hired as a special assistant to work with Farhan Zaidi in baseball operations while also assisting president Larry Baer on the ownership side.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 16, 2024
Dusty Baker Returns to Giants as Special Assistant
Bay Area Return
Baker managed the Giants from 1993 to 2002 before returning to the team as an adviser to team CEO Larry Baer during a previous break in managing from 2018-2019. When he retired from managing following the 2023 season, his 26th as a manager in the major leagues, he stated that he felt as though he still had more to offer to a team and had hoped to take on an advisory role. In returning to the Bay Area, Baker comes back to a town where he is well-loved. He will now serve as a special assistant to Baer once again, as well as to President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi.
A Hall of Fame Career
After retiring as a player as an Oakland Athletic in 1986, he switched gears to become a manager. He started the gig with the Giants before his firing following a post-season appearance in 2002. He would then manage the Chicago Cubs (2003-2006), the Cincinnati Reds (2008-2013), and the Washington Nationals (2016-2017) before taking over the reins of the Houston Astros. That year, Baker took over the role left by A.J. Hinch‘s firing following the fallout of their 2017 scandal.
Baker picked up numerous accolades as a manager. He earned the National League Manager of the Year award three times with the Giants and won the 2022 World Series with the Astros, his first as a manager. At the age of 73, Baker became the oldest skipper to win a championship. Baker also was the first major league manager to reach the playoffs and win a division title with five different teams; a feat he accomplished with each team he managed. He ranks seventh in all-time major-league managerial wins and has notched the most wins among African-American managers.
Among Good Company
Baker still owns a home in Granite Bay, outside of Sacramento. Baker is an avid gardener, growing grapes for his wine in California. His new role allows him to continue this endeavor and to watch his son Darren’s college games at the University of California at Berkeley. He will join other former Giants Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, and Will Clark, in the front office.
Photo Credit: “Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker — All-Pro Reels | Ed Sheahin” by All-Pro Reels is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.