Darren Baker, Kid Almost Trampled at the Plate in 2002 World Series, Gets Drafted

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Darren Baker took a step toward making something he did as a toddler almost 15 years ago the second-most memorable thing he’s done on a major league baseball field. Two days ago, Baker was selected in the 27th round of the MLB draft.

The son of Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker was famously almost trampled at home plate during the 2002 World Series, when his dad was managing the San Francisco Giants against the Anaheim Angels.

Thankfully first baseman T.J. Snow snagged the toddler, then the Giants batboy, on his way past home plate before David Bell followed on a two-RBI triple from Kenny Lofton.

The incident spawned the “Darren Baker Rule,” which requires batboys to be at least 14.

Baker, now 18, was drafted by his dad’s team, a fact that has drawn cries of nepotism. But he told Deadspin he thought he was more likely to be selected by the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, or Milwaukee Brewers based on pre-draft discussions, and indicated Dusty was “shocked” when he broke the news to his dad.

He also hit .396/.476/.483 in his senior year of high school, and is so confident in his abilities that he’s committed to attending Cal in the hope of getting picked earlier in the draft when he’s eligible in three years, as he explained to one hater on Twitter.

He hopes his baseball journey takes him back to where he became part of arguably the most iconic moment of the epic seven-game Fall Classic in 2002.

“If I went straight from Berkeley to the Giants … oh my gosh,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to play for them for sure. For sure. That would be a dream come true. That would be surreal.”

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