There are few metaphors grand enough to do justice by the magnitude of Dusty Baker’s life experience. He recounts smoking a joint with Jimi Hendrix, calls President Obama a friend, and served six years in the Marines.
Dusty’s playing career also provides a wealth of flat-out incredible Dusty-isms, which always seem to beget more. Like, Dusty’s belief that Kirk Reuter was one of the luckiest players he ever managed, and how that belief led Dusty to parade his Nats through the dugout to rub Reuter’s ears before a game against the Cardinals.
The Twitter account of the Negro Leagues Museum, run by the president of the institution, took the opportunity on Thursday to remind us of another of these stories: that Satchell Paige insisted on calling the Nats’ fearless leader “Daffy.”
— negroleaguesmuseum (@nlbmprez) January 12, 2017
Howard Bryant, a senior writer with ESPN, wrote before the 2016 season that “Baker is a living link to the entire history of black baseball.” Baker owes not just the nickname, but also this descriptor to Paige. Baker was raised as one of “the next young black stars” by Hank Aaron, who was told to do so by Jackie Robinson. Robinson played with Paige in the 1940s, after Paige played in the Negro Leagues during its early years.
In short, New Year’s resolutions are bad unless they entail a renewed commitment to calling Baker “Daffy.”Tags: Dusty Baker, Nationals, Nats, Washington Nationals