Will This Former Shreveport Brave Finally Win the ‘Big One’?
Baseball has been a major topic of discussion here lately in Shreveport. Everything from the demolition (or lack thereof) of Fairgrounds Field to the possibility that baseball may actually return to town thanks to the Texas Rangers.
Well, if you're a fan of baseball, Friday night will be the first game of the World Series. The Astros versus Phillies. First pitch is at 7:03 PM. But this series is more than just a battle for a championship - it may be the last shot for an iconic, life long baseball man to win a World Championship as a manager.
Dusty Baker, who was an Atlanta Braves draft pick way back in 1967, is closer to the end than the beginning. Baker is about to turn 74 and the swirling rumor is that win or lose, he's going to retire this off-season.
He is the winningest manager in MLB history to not win a World Series. He's the first black manager to win 2,000 games. He's the 12th manager in baseball history to win 2,000 games. Dusty has had quite the career and will be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. But, will he get the cherry on top by finally winning the World Series?
Did You Know One of Dusty's First Stops as a Pro was in Shreveport?
Dusty has had a long and successful career. But, did you know one of his first stops as a pro was right here in Shreveport playing for the 1969 Shreveport Braves? Yes, Shreveport had another affiliated baseball team. In their 4 years of existence, they had some pretty big names come through, but none may be bigger than Dusty Baker.
However, his time with the Braves isn't Dusty's only Shreveport connection. He was the manager for the San Francisco Giants from 1993 to 2002. During that time, The Shreveport Captains were a minor league affiliate of the Giants - they even won the league championship in 1995 and several of those players eventually got called up to the big club.
What are the Odds Dusty Finally Gets a Ring?
The 3 time Manager of the Year has accomplished a lot both as a player and a manager. However, the one accomplishment he has yet to add to his Hall of Fame resume is a World Series win as a manager. Is this the year he finally gets it?
Well, Vegas seems to think so. Currently, Vegas has Astros as big favorites over the Phillies (-185 for Houston compared to +150 for the Phils). According to the experts, Houston has a better starting rotation and more offensive consistency. However, you can't count out the Fighting Phils. While Houston is undefeated in the Post Season so far, the Phils have had to roll through some stiff competition including the Padres, St. Louis Cardinals and heavily favorited Braves. In fact, the Phillies have been the under dog in every series this post season.
Regardless of the outcome two things can't be denied: The Astros have had a dominate season and Dusty Baker is a sure fire Hall of Famer when he eventually hangs it up.