Baker’s World Series Win Evokes McKeon’s '03 Marlins

At the age of 73, Baker finally reached the pinnacle of his profession, winning his first World Series championship as a manager
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Baseball may be a young person’s game, but Dusty Baker is proof that there’s still a place in the sport for an old-timer with decades of experience.

At the age of 73, Baker finally reached the pinnacle of his profession, winning his first World Series championship as a manager in his 25th season and evoking memories of 2003, when another elder statesman of the game, Jack McKeon, guided the Marlins to a World Series title as a 72-year-old.

When the Marlins won, McKeon became the oldest manager to lead a team to a World Series title, but that distinction now belongs to Baker.

Then-Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria experienced firsthand the value a seasoned skipper like McKeon could provide, and he sees similar traits in Baker. Loria, who sold the Marlins to a group led by Bruce Sherman in 2017, penned a column for the Wall Street Journal earlier this week comparing Baker’s work guiding the Astros over the past three years to the job McKeon, now 91 years old, did after taking over the Marlins in 2003.

“When I hired Mr. McKeon in May 2003, the Marlins were losing,” Loria wrote. “He was presented to me as a manager who could handle ‘a real fixer-upper’ of a team, exactly what we needed. Mr. Baker had an even tougher task. He was hired by the Astros after they lost the 2019 World Series to the Washington Nationals. His new team was also about to be punished by Major League Baseball for a 2017 sign-stealing scandal.

“It’s a lesson for baseball, and beyond baseball, that when you need morale, morals and management, it helps to look at people like Messrs. Baker and McKeon who aren’t ‘spotlight seekers’ but have quietly given their lives to the game.”
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