Dusty Baker

Hank Aaron said, “Dusty Baker has more potential than any outfielder I’ve seen in all my seasons with the Braves.” Although only a 27th-round draft choice, Baker seemed ready to realize that potential when he batted .321 (third in the NL) in 1972, his first full season in the ML. But after three straight subpar seasons, he was traded to the Dodgers in November 1975. Another poor season followed, but in 1977 he rebounded (.291, 30 HR, 89 RBI). He set a club record against San Diego with five RBI in one inning, hit .357 with a four-game-record eight RBI in the LCS, and batted .292 in the World Series. His two-run homer off Steve Carlton provided the game-winning RBI in the LCS. In three more LCS, he never hit less than .316. In 1981, the muscular left fielder again finished third in batting (.320), won a Gold Glove, and made an outstanding catch in the All-Star Game at Cleveland. A prolonged contract dispute sent him to the Giants on April 1, 1984; that year, he hit .292 without the benefit of spring training.