Daily Sports Smile: Dusty Baker exchanges lineup cards with son in heartwarming moment

Mar 20, 2022; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker (12) greets his son Washington Nationals Darren Baker (2) during spring training at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports+

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker received a special surprise this weekend. Baker was welcomed by his son, Darren, ahead of the Astros' spring training game against the Washington Nationals.

Darren is an MLB prospect in the Nationals minor league system. He was selected in the 10th round of the 2021 MLB Draft after playing collegiately at California.

On Sunday, Darren received the ultimate honor to exchange lineup cards with Dusty at home plate. The customary practice was met with smiles and hugs as the Bakers were together on the field again.

“A day I will never forget,” Darren wrote on his Twitter account.

According to MLB.com, Nationals manager Dave Martinez had planned the moment for a while. He played for Dusty when both were a part of the San Francisco Giants organization.

Dusty had no idea about the special surprise. However, he told MLB.com reporters Brian McTaggart and Jessica Camerato that it was a great moment.

“He hugged me, and I was going to leave and he wanted to give me another hug and the umpire said, ‘No more hugging,’” Dusty said after the game. “It shocked me, but that’s Davey Martinez. He played for me. That was quite an experience, really.”

Many MLB fans might remember Darren as a young child. He was a Giants bat boy during the 2002 World Series. Darren ran onto the field before former Giants first baseman J.T. Snow picked him up and carried him out of harm's way.

Years later, Darren is making his name with the Nationals. He drove home the game-winning RBI to propel the Nationals to victory. Last season, Darren spent time in rookie ball and Single-A within the organization.

Dusty will attempt to get the Astros back to the World Series this season. The Astros fell to the Atlanta Braves in six games.