It’s a familiar sight for baseball fans: a grinning Dusty Baker leaning back in his office chair, a box of toothpicks within arm’s reach, chewing over lineups and pitching changes.
But Baker isn’t plotting double switches anymore, and he didn’t plan to join the wheeling and dealing at Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings this week in Las Vegas. He’s about 400 miles (640 kilometers) away pursuing a very different prospect: solar power.
The avuncular baseball legend, who played with Hank Aaron and managed Barry Bonds years before the Washington Nationals fired him in 2017, is competing in a new arena. His Baker Energy Team, a startup based outside of Sacramento, California, is developing, pitching and working on large projects for historically black universities, cannabis-growing operations, tribal reservations, and commercial businesses. He’s just come back from touring the site of a 15,000-square-foot estate in development that needs an energy plan.
Baker, 69, has been a major-league Zelig. He was on deck when Aaron became baseball’s all-time home-run leader, eclipsing Babe Ruth. He won a World Series in 1981 as an outfielder with the Dodgers and then managed four franchises to the postseason.