The Last Active Shreveport Braves Member Has Officially Retired
Believe it or not, Shreveport Louisiana has a pretty deep baseball history. Shocking, I know. Usually, in modern times, when you think Shreveport you think football. And, rightfully so. Historically and recently, our little part of the world has produced TONS of NFL talent. However, once upon a time, we were a really good baseball town too. Not only is Shreveport-Bossier the hometown of current pros Seth Lugo & Taijuan Walker, but historically speaking, Shreveport had TWO minor league baseball teams.
Yeah, you read that right. A lot of times, when people think Shreveport baseball, they think about the Captains at Fairground Field. Which makes sense. They were here the longest. However, Shreveport also had another minor league team - the Shreveport Braves.
The Shreveport Braves, for 3 years from 1968-1970, were the AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves and played at SPAR Stadium. And not just that some pretty big names graced the field in Shreveport Braves uniforms - Ron Schueler, Dale Roberts, George Kopacz, Santiago Rosario and Jim Breazeale - just to name a few.
However, perhaps the most famous Shreveport Brave and longest enduring one is the one and only Dusty Baker!
Did You Know Dusty Baker Has a Strong Shreveport Connection?
Yes, that Dusty Baker played ball in Shreveport. He was a Shreveport Braves member in 1969 playing 73 games. As a Brave, Dusty hit .257 with 9 home runs and 31 RBIs. So, he didn't exactly set the world on fire in Shreveport. But he did go on to be an All-Star in the majors, win 2 Silver Slugger awards and a Gold Glove. So, we'll let it slide.
Plus, what he did as a manager trumps anything he ever accomplished on the field. He's one of the winningest managers of all time. He's a 3x Manager of the year, won a World Series, is the first manager in MLB history to lead 5 different teams to division titles and is only the 9th manager in baseball's glorious history to win both an AL & NL pennant.
Dusty Baker Officially Retires from the Houston Astros
If you've read this far, you're probably thinking 'Why are we going over a career retrospective for Dusty Baker?'. Well, Dusty just officially announced his retirement from the Houston Astros and the world of baseball. And you can't tell Dusty's story without talking about his time as a Shreveport Brave. Plus, looking over the rosters from the 3 years of the Shreveport Braves, he appears to have been the last active former Shreveport Braves player still active - whether it be on the bench or a front office.
For over 5 decades, Dusty has been apart of baseball. Whether he was working his way through the minors, playing in the big leagues or managing ball clubs, Dusty has been apart of the game for as long as I can remember. He's always been a class act, a brilliant baseball mind and one heck of a leader. And I for one think it's pretty cool that Shreveport played a role in the man & manager he went on to be. Enjoy retirement. We'll miss you in the dugout.
Below is his farewell statement to the Houston Astros & the game of baseball
The Best Professional Baseball Players From Louisiana
Gallery Credit: Gary McCoy