Originally named as Johnnie B. Baker, Jr., Dusty is a former American baseball player, and manager of various Major League Baseball teams. In his 19 year career, he served as an outfielder to teams, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and Oakland Athletics. As most greats usually go, after letting go of his career as an outfielder, he then went on to become the team coach of his rival team, The San Francisco Giants. Dusty started off as the first base coach in the year 1988, and then as hitting coach in the next years up until 1992, and as the team’s manager. As baseball enthusiasts would say, Baker is one of the only three African Americans to ever manage a World Series team. Not only did he have a winning career as a baseball player, he also received major awards from playing, coaching, and managing. What are these? Here are some the man’s career awards.
1977 NLCS MVP AWARD
The National League Championship Series MVP player award was first created in year 1977, making Dusty Baker as one of its first awardees. As the series’ most valuable award, each awardee is selected by a committee of executives and writers which are present in each game, and is announced and presented at the end of ever series. Dusty Baker, at that year, playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers as their outfielder had a total of .357 batting average, 2 home runs, and 8 runs batted in. Many baseball fans believe that Baker had played important part in the first ever high five between him and Dodgers teammate Glenn Burke in the team’s stadium, making Baker all the more deserving to receive the MVP award.
1980 SILVER SLUGGER AWARD
This award is given to the best offensive player of every position, both in American and National league. The decision comes from the coaches and team managers, by judging the player’s batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and most of all, the player’s overall offensive value. Making each coach and manager not allowed to judge or give their votes to their own players. This award was first given in year 1980; making Dusty Baker, again, as the field outfielder to ever receive the award. Given by the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger Bats, Hillerich and Bradsby, Dusty had a total of .294 AVG, .339 OBP, .503 SLG, 29 HR, and 97 RBI.
1981 ALL STAR AWARD
The 1981 All Star marked the 52nd playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-star players of American and National league baseball. Due to the players strike, the game supposed to be held at July 14, was held at August 9, 1981, at the Cleveland Stadium, Ohio. The 1981 All Star still remains as the holder of the record for the highest attendance in an All-Star game. Although Dusty played as on outfielder reserve, he contributed a sliding catch for the 3rd out, which earned the team a run and more. With his move and also his teammates many contributions, and the team’s teamwork and hard work, the National league triumphed over the American league. This then, marks as Dusty’s first All-Star award.
1981 WORLD SERIES CHAMPION
Dusty’s team matched up with the New York tankees, making it their 3rd meeting in five years. This World Series was yet to be remembered since this was when a team won after losing twice. Although Dusty made little contribution and was not affected by the games’ spotlight, the Dodgers won against the Yankees. The 1981 World Series ended and era of meets, rivalry and wins and losses to both teams. Combining both teams 10 division titles, and both teams eight World Series appearances, this match finally brought it to an end. Both team suffered tough losses of key or star players. However, the Dodger’s had a stronger farm system than the Yankees, and by adding key players via trade and free agency, they won titles after titles then.
1981 GOLD GLOVE AWARD
Also called The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, this award is given annually to the Major League Baseball players known to have performed superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position, both American and National league. Just like the Sliver Slug Award, votes come from different team managers and coaches in each league; they however are not permitted to vote for their own team players. Created by the Rawling’s baseball glove manufacturer, eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded every year, except for the years, 1957, 1985 and 2007. Dusty won that years Golden Glove award for the National league, with a total of 181 PO, 8 A, 2 E, 1 DP, and .990 FPct.
1981 SILVER SLUG AWARD
Dusty’s second Silver Slug. Despite playing poorly in the World Series, Dusty yet again won another Silver Slug in year 1981. Proving his worth despite all poor playing strategies, he proved that he is still one of the best outfielders there is. Unaffected by all of the games drama, he gave his best for his team; his 2nd Silver Slug is his proof of this hard work and determination. He was after all named twice in the National League All-Star Team. Dusty became well known as “Dr. Scald” during his time in Dodgers. Despite all injuries, he never gave up, even started to transform himself from being a physical player to being a mental player.
1982 ALL STAR AWARD
Again, this marks Dusty’s 2nd all-star award. The 53rd midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American and National leagues, played at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, on the 13th day of July. This All-Star season was notable since this was the first game to be played outside the United States. This time again, Dusty played as a reserve, there was a lot of tension between two teams, as the American league started the game by drawing first blood in the first off National league starter Steve Rogers, then Reggie Jackson drove home Rickey Henderson by giving a sacrifice fly. What followed then was history, when the Dodgers retaliated with hard work and team work, leading them to triumph again in the 1982 All-Star Game.
1993 NL’s MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD
This award was created since year 1983 and presented by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Given annually to the best American and National league managers, winners are voted from 1st to third, by 28 members. The manager earning the highest score from his league wins the award. Dusty was one of the three National League managers, exceeding the century mark when he led the San Francisco Giants to win 103-59 record in year 1993. He was awarded 2nd along the other two managers also able to do exemplary work were Whitey Herzog and Larry Dierker. Dusty was also able to win three times with this titles along with Leyland, and Piniella. This marks as Dusty’s first award during his first year in his managing career.
1997 NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD
After four years since his first award as NL Manager of the year, Dusty again got the award in 1997. Though he stayed far away from the spotlight over the years, baseball fans would say, he still did a great job managing the Giants, but also still managed to lose the awards to other managers, Alou, Baylor, and Bochy. I guess staying away from the spotlight was good idea, since after four years, Dusty bounced back by winning this year, and being in 1st place, finishing with a record of 90-72. Not as good as his first, but at least this time, he got 1st place, and he also managed to lead the team into earning their 1997 division title.
2000 NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Two years before he was replaced as manager of the Giants, Dusty won his third NL Manager of the year award, this time again as 1st place with a record of 97-65, and also leading them again to earn their division title. Though this was the last award Dusty achieved in his managing career with the Giants, this was yet another milestone of his then future achievements as a world renowned baseball player or legend, and a manager. Sticking to his core values, respect of the sport, and a well-balanced athletic career, Dusty continued to be a great influence to the old and new faces of baseball.