- The Washington Times
Sunday, March 20, 2022

The only thing missing was J.T. Snow.

In a heartwarming father-son moment, Astros manager Dusty Baker and Nationals prospect Darren Baker exchanged lineup cards before the Houston-Washington spring training game on Sunday afternoon.

Normally, Nationals manager Dave Martinez would take the lineup card to home plate, but instead he sent up the 23-year-old second baseman to greet his father — a longtime MLB manager and former Nationals skipper. 

It’s not the first time baseball fans were introduced to Darren Baker around home plate. In Game 5 of the 2002 World Series, a 3-year-old Darren Baker, the bat boy for his father’s Giants, was swooped up by Snow, San Francisco’s first baseman, as he crossed the plate. 

Darren Baker was drafted in the 10th round by the Nationals last season after playing at University of California, Berkeley. He hit .318 in 18 games with Washington’s Low-A affiliate last season.

Dusty Baker, meanwhile, is in his third season with the Astros. The former Giants, Cubs and Reds skipper managed the Nationals from 2016 to 2017 before returning to the dugout to lead the Astros in 2020. 

The Nationals and Astros share facilities in West Palm Beach, Florida. Dusty Baker has told reporters that he and his son are living together while at spring training.

Darren Baker entered the game in the sixth inning on Sunday, driving home the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly. The Nationals won, 3-2. 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC.