Long-time Major League Baseball (MLB) manager Dusty Baker Jr. became the oldest MLB manager to win a World Series after the Houston Astros dominated the Fall Classics on Saturday.
The Astros played against the Philadelphia Phillies in the seven-game series, taking the win in games two (2-5), four (5-0), five (3-2), and six (1-4).
In response to his win, CNN reported that Baker embraced his wife, Melissa, and high-fived those around him.
“I’m feeling great, these guys are the greatest guys, they always believe,” Baker, 73, said amid celebrating. “This is for my mom and my dad, my mom that passed in January, and my brother and all my boys.”
Baker has been coaching in MLB since 1993 and came excruciatingly close to winning a World Series title—once in 2002 when he coached the San Francisco Giants and the second time in 2021 with the Astros.
“I just knew it was going to happen, sooner or later, you stick around long enough, and you’ve got good teams,” the 73-year-old said. “I said, if I win one, I want to win two, so we might as well go for two—we’ll see.”
He added, “I’m so happy that it took this long. Because had this happened years ago, maybe I wouldn’t even be here. Maybe, it wasn’t supposed to happen, so I could hopefully influence a few young mens’ lives and families and a number of people in the country, showing what perseverance and character can do for you.”
With this recent win, Baker became the longest-serving MLB manager to achieve the World Series title and the third Black manager to attain the title. Two-time World Series champion Cito Gaston became the first, and Dave Roberts, another two-time World Series champ, became the second.
“My mom, she told me a number of times, to be African-American, you’ve got to be twice as good to achieve the same thing,” he said at a press conference. “I heard that over and over.”
The 2022 World Series isn’t Baker’s only time taking a prestigious win. The retired MLB player is the oldest of many other head coaches to win a Super Bowl, NBA championship, or Stanley Cup.
Watch Baker’s press conference below.