THE son of former Los Angeles Dodger standout and 1981 World Series champion Johnnie “Dusty” Baker Jr. is interested in playing for the national baseball team, according to Philippine Amateur Baseball Association secretary general Pepe Munoz.
“Actually, it was the mother, Melissa who approached me expressing her intention for her son Darren to play for the national team,” Munoz said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association online forum yesterday.
Born to Filipino parents from Ilocos Norte, Melissa, 59, is the second wife of the elder Baker. Their son, Darren, 21, is a junior at the University of California and the regular second baseman of the Golden Bears.
Dusty Baker, 71, was a slugger for the Dodgers and a member of the Los Angeles squad that won the National League pennant in 1977, 1978 and 1981 under the late flamboyant and outspoken manager Tommy Lasorda.
He was the first recipient of the first NL Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award in 1977 and a member of the Dodgers who beat the powerhouse New York Yankees 4-2 in the best-of-7 Major League Baseball Series in 1981.
In his three seasons for the Golden Bears, Darren Baker has a respectable batting average of .290 and a slugging percentage of .331, according to the statistics provided by baseballrefence.com. He also had one homerun, 47 RBIs (runs-batted-in) and 30 stolen bases.
Seeking to follow in his famous father’s footsteps, Baker went undrafted in the MLB draft of June 2020 so he decided to finish his schooling at the University of California, taking up a course in American Studies.