Dusty Baker is calling it a career.
The Houston Astros skipper is retiring after 26 seasons as an MLB manager, he told USA TODAY Sports' Bob Nightengale. The Astros held a press conference Thursday at Minute Maid Park in which Baker officially announced his departure from the game and discussed what might be next for him.
"I would first like to say thank you to [Astros owner] Jim Crane and family for giving me this opportunity over the last four years," Baker said. "It has been a tremendous honor to be the leader of this ballclub. Thank you to the fans for their unwavering passion. The amount of love I've received in my time in Houston has been unmatched.
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"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.'"
Baker's retirement comes after an impressive four-year run in Houston where he helped the franchise reclaim the World Series title in the wake of its sign-stealing scandal. Houston reached the ALCS in each season under Baker and made consecutive World Series from 2021-22, winning it all last season. They looked on their way to a third straight World Series trip this season before squandering a 3-2 ALCS lead against the Texas Rangers.
Along with the Astros, Baker managed the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals over his career. A three-time Manager of the Year, Baker's teams combined to reach the playoffs 13 times, win three pennants and capture one World Series title. He's the only manager to ever lead five different franchises to the postseason.
When Baker guided Houston to a championship in 2022, he became the oldest manager/head coach to win a title across the four major professional sports at 73 years and 143 days old.
Baker ranks seventh all time with 2,183 career wins as a manager, boasting a .540 winning percentage, while his 57 postseason victories rank fourth. He is one just 11 managers with 2,000 career wins and was the first Black manager to reach the milestone. Of those other 10 managers with 2,000 wins, nine of them are in the Hall of Fame, with current Rangers skipper Bruce Bochy being the only one who isn't.
Baker, who was a two-time All-Star outfielder during his 19-year playing career, is also one of just seven since 1969 who have won a World Series both as a player and as a manager. He was part of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 1981 championship team.