Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker never met a challenge he didn't like, and that includes the attempt to get the Cubs into the World Series for the first time in more than 60 years. He came close in 2003, oh, so close, after leading the team to the National League Central title in his first year in Chicago.
It was Dusty's "Why not?" attitude entering that season that carried the Cubs back to the top of the standings when nobody thought they would be a strong contender, and there was no "Why me?" attitude after a deflected foul ball kept the Cubs from reaching the Fall Classic. Baker's positive, no-nonsense approach to the game has carried him to success both as a manager and a player.
He played in the World Series three times as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers and led the San Francisco Giants there in 2002. During his playing career, he batted .278 with 242 career home runs and 1,013 RBI, and was one of the four Dodgers sluggers, along with Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Reggie Smith, that made history by becoming the first teammate foursome to hit at least 30 home runs each in 1977.
Dusty was a two-time All-Star as a player and managed the National League All-Stars in 2003. He also won two Silver Slugger Awards and was named Most Valuable Player of the 1977 National League Championship Series. He also was named Manager of the Year three times by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Some of his greatest achievements may have come on the playing field, but they don't stop there. Baker also is a military veteran who has been active in a long list of charitable endeavors, including the Sacramento Children's Home for Abused Youths, the American Sports Institute, Special Olympics, the California Campaign for Libraries, Swords to Plowshares, National Muscular Dystrophy Association and ALS-related fundraising efforts.
Dusty's hobbies include hunting and fishing. He speaks fluent Spanish, and was an active member of the United States Marine Corps Reserves from 1969 through 1975. He has co-authored You Can Teach Hitting, has produced numerous videos on hitting and oversees the Dusty Baker School of Baseball. Dusty is very involved in the community providing leadership to charitable, health, youth, and law enforcement causes. An outstanding speaker, his most popular subjects are teamwork, teambuilding, communication and motivation and diversity in the workplace and society.