Darren Baker is a 24-year-old minor leaguer in the Washington Nationals organization, mostly known for being the son of Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker – and for avoiding disaster because of the quick-thinking J.T. Snow during the 2002 World Series.
During Friday’s spring training game between the two clubs, the younger Baker, who hasn’t shown much power during his stint in the minors came up to bat in the ninth inning with Washington trailing 7-3.
Baker then deposited a pitch into the stands with the bases loaded off of Astros reliever Devin Conn as part of the Nationals’ eight-run ninth inning to beat Houston 11-7.
“It was unbelievable,” Darren Baker said, via MLB.com. “I don’t know when I’ve been mobbed like that in the dugout. Jeter [Downs] was yelling at me. He was in front of me at second base. I don’t know, it was just like an out-of-body type of experience.”
“I knew he was going to make contact,” Dusty Baker said, “because he doesn’t strike out. But when the ball went up, I was just hoping it would be a sacrifice fly and be happy with that. He’d get the RBI, and we’d get the win. But he hit it pretty good. He had a couple good at-bats. I didn’t know whether to be a proud papa or an angry papa.”
Dusty Baker showed his competitive spirit, even though his son had a clutch hit against his team.
“After he got the first hit, home-plate umpire Ron Kulpa said, ‘See how easy that is?’” Dusty said. “Well, he made it look easy.
“I love my son, but I hate to lose.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Darren Baker hits spring training grand slam vs. dad Dusty’s Astros
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