Remember him? Darren Baker makes jaw-dropping stop

May 12th, 2023

For many of us, the first thought that comes to mind when we hear the name Darren Baker is of a 3-year-old boy being rescued at home plate by Giants first baseman J.T. Snow during Game 5 of the 2002 World Series. 

Baker, serving as San Francisco's batboy, was a bit overzealous in his eagerness to retrieve the bat dropped by Kenny Lofton, who had just hit a triple that scored Snow and his teammate David Bell, who was rounding third and coming home full steam ahead right behind him.

But given what Baker, the son of Astros manager Dusty Baker, is doing on the baseball field these days, that famous moment might not be the first that we think of when hearing his name in the future. On Thursday night, Baker made a spectacular defensive play for the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate that we'd be hard-pressed to remember ever seeing before.

Playing second base for Rochester against Worcester, Baker broke to his left when Worcester's David Hamilton hit a ground ball between first and second that was headed for right field in the third inning. First baseman Matt Adams dove and deflected the ball, and when the ball changed trajectory, Baker made an incredible behind-the-back grab while sliding and threw to pitcher Paolo Espino covering for the out.

We've seen pitchers make behind-the-back plays on comebackers to the mound from time to time, but this play was something altogether different. 

Dusty Baker, who was managing the Giants back in 2002, has been called smooth in the way he's deftly guided five different teams to the postseason during his managerial career. But his son just put a whole new spin on the word when it comes to a Baker in baseball.

It was more than 20 years ago that Snow's rescue of Darren at home plate became an iconic World Series moment. And 20 years from now, we might still be watching highlight reels featuring the play an all-grown-up Darren made Thursday night.