MLB Network Profiles Former Reds Manager Dusty Baker
From his rookie debut with Hank Aaron’s Atlanta Braves, to his Baker Family Wines in California, MLB Network profiles former Reds manager Dusty Baker at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Aaron, his mentor, is a major player in “MLB Presents: Dusty: A Baseball Journey.” Baker was on deck when Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home record in 1974.
“The year I went through chasing the record, I think that really helped him get to where he is today,” Aaron says in the show.
Baker, 66, named Washington Nationals manager in November, says Aaron “knew what we coming (from the pitcher) almost all the time. He would tell me: If you feel it, believe it. And he said: You’ll never be a great hitter unless you trust your feelings.”
Hosted by Bob Costas, the show includes comments from Aaron; former Dodgers teammate Steve Garvey; former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda; baseball writer Peter Gammons; Cubs radio announcer Pat Hughes and Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper. It’s not clear from reading online reviews if MLB interviews anyone from Baker’s five years managing the Reds 2008-13. He was fired after winning 90 games in 2013.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com says “baseball broadcasters Pat Hughes and Duane Kuiper cover Baker's managerial career and his unique ability to connect with star players such as Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, Sammy Sosa, Ken GriffeyJr. and Joey Votto.”
“Baseball Journey” also takes viewers off the field to Baker’s interests in wine and music. He talks about meeting Jimi Hendrix and his friendship with guitarist Elvin Bishop.
Baker played 19 seasons (1968-86) for the Braves, Dodgers, Giants and As. Twice he was an All-Star (1981-82) for the Dodgers. He won a Golden Glove in 1981.
He’s starting his 21st season as manager, after compiling a 1671-1504 record (.526 winning percentage) for the Giants, Cubs and Reds from 1993 to 2013.