4,276 wins, four WS titles: An ALCS managerial matchup for the ages

10 facts and figures behind Dusty Baker and Bruce Bochy's postseason meeting

October 13th, 2023

We are so lucky to witness the baseball lives of Dusty Baker and Bruce Bochy. Two colossal figures in our game, who have accomplished so much and garnered such respect.

Each is in his 26th season as a manager. The two have combined for 4,276 wins and four World Series titles as managers. They’ve impacted countless players and fans.

Here’s a look at 10 stats and facts about a majestic managerial matchup:

1. This isn’t the first postseason clash of these titans. Bochy’s Giants took down Baker’s Reds in a 2012 NLDS matchup, with San Francisco winning three straight in Cincinnati. Eleven years later, here they are again. Bochy and Baker are the fourth managerial duo with a postseason matchup at least 10 years after their most recent one.

Bochy met Bobby Cox in the 1998 NLCS and then 12 years later in the 2010 NLDS. Dick Williams met Sparky Anderson in the 1972 and then ‘84 World Series, with a 29-year-old Bochy going 1-for-1 in the latter. And Baker met Tony La Russa in the 2002 NLCS and then 19 years later in the 2021 ALDS.

2. What about the fact that this series is with a new team for each manager, compared to that 2012 matchup? They’re the fifth duo to match up in multiple postseason series, each managing a different team. Baker and La Russa, noted above, did so with Giants-Cardinals and then Astros-White Sox, as did Williams and Anderson, with A’s-Reds and Padres-Tigers. Joe Torre and Lou Piniella met twice in the postseason, helming Yankees-Mariners before a later Dodgers-Cubs series. And Terry Francona and Joe Maddon had three series, from Red Sox-Rays to Cleveland-Rays to Cleveland-Cubs, with the first and last satisfying the “totally new teams” criteria.

3. It isn’t just the postseason. These two have 204 regular-season matchups, third-most between two managers in the Wild Card era, behind Baker-La Russa (215) and Bochy-Bud Black (210). This is just the second postseason series all-time between managers to have faced off at least 200 times in the regular season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Baker and La Russa had 208 regular-season meetings prior to the aforementioned 2021 ALDS.

4. Along the way, these two have racked up experience and then some. Baker’s 2,183 managerial wins rank seventh all-time. Bochy’s 2,093 rank 10th. Only 12 MLB managers have reached 2,000 wins, and this is the second postseason series between two, each entering with at least 2,000 regular-season wins. La Russa had 2,552 wins entering the 2009 NLDS opposite Torre, who had 2,246.

5. That experience is quantifiable in the postseason, too. Baker has managed 101 playoff games and Bochy has managed 82. It’s the second postseason series between two managers who have already managed at least 75 playoff games entering, along with that 2009 NLDS. Torre had 134 managerial games of postseason experience at that point, while La Russa had 107.

6. There’s another way to quantify experience: Age. At 74 and 68 years old, respectively, Baker and Bochy are the two oldest active managers in MLB. This will be the third postseason series between managers who are both at least 68 years old, per Elias. La Russa was 77 years and three days old entering the 2021 ALDS against Baker, who was 72 years and 114 days old. Entering the 2003 NLDS between the Giants and Marlins, Felipe Alou, who had replaced Baker, was 68 years and 141 days, while Jack McKeon was 72 years and 311 days.

7. Baker has 54 postseason wins, fourth-most all-time behind Torre (84), La Russa (71) and Cox (67). Fifth on that list? Bochy, with 49. Bochy has also won 15 postseason rounds, third-most behind Torre’s 19 and La Russa’s 16. Cox is next with 12, followed by Baker and Dave Roberts with 11 each.

8. Baker’s 2022 title has a statistical tie to Bochy, too. At the time, Baker had managed 3,884 regular-season games. That’s the most at the time of a manager’s first World Series championship, per Elias. He surpassed 2010 Bochy, at 2,574.

9. Last year, Baker was 73 years and 135 days old for Game 1 of the World Series, the oldest manager to reach the Fall Classic, surpassing McKeon in 2003 (72 years, 329 days for Game 1). Then Baker became the oldest manager or head coach in MLB/NBA/NFL/NHL history to win a championship, per STATS. Were he to reach or win again, he’d break his own records.

10. Bochy is the seventh manager to reach the LCS with at least three franchises. No manager has won an LCS with three franchises. Expanding prior to when LCS play began in 1969, only two managers have reached the World Series with three franchises: Bill McKechnie (1925 Pittsburgh, 1928 St. Louis, 1939-40 Cincinnati) and Williams (1967 Boston, 1972-73 Oakland, 1984 San Diego). Bochy is bidding to be the third -- and first to do so by winning an LCS with each club.