Johnnie B. “Dusty” Baker, Jr. (born 1949) has an awesome name, nickname included or not. He also has had one of the most well-rounded baseball careers ever, having great success as both a player and manager.
The current Cincinnati Reds manager had a 19-year career as an outfielder, hitting .278 with 242 home runs and 1,013 RBI. He has managed 3,013 games to date, with his teams going 1,581-1,432 in those contests. He picked up two Silver Slugger Awards during his playing career and has won the NL Manager of the Year Award three times so far.
He was also on deck (the batter who is scheduled to bat next) when Hank Aaron hit his historic 715th home run, passing Babe Ruth on the all time list. Talk about a tough act to follow!
More interestingly for you non-baseball fans, Dusty is known for his love of toothpicks, and is often seen chewing them in the dugout.
Dusty is also credited as being part of what may have been the first high-five in history. On the last day of the 1977 season at Dodger Stadium, Dusty hit his 30th homer of the season off the Astros’ J.R. Richard, and also marked the first time in history that the Dodgers had four hitters hit 30 homers during the same season. In his excitement, Glenn Burke, the man on deck, threw his hand up excitedly to greet Baker at the plate. Baker smacked it because “it seemed like the thing to do.” Little did he know it would be “the thing to do” (well, aside from your laundry) for a long, long time. I guess it also brings new meaning to the phrase “patty cake, patty cake, Baker’s man.”
You go, Dusty!