Sunday in spring training action, the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros provided a feel-good, family moment at home plate. As most in these parts knows, Dusty Baker is the manager of the Astros. His son, Darren, is currently playing in the Nationals’ farm system.

Thus, it was the perfect opportunity for Nationals manager Davey Martinez to send the younger Baker to home plate to meet the elder Baker during the lineup card exchange.One might recall the Dusty Baker connection to the Nationals, as he managed the club to back-to-back NL East titles in 2016-17, winning 192 games against just 132 losses. Martinez took over for him in 2018.

Darren Baker, 23, was a 10th-round pick by the Nationals last June after a collegiate career at California. In 18 games for Class-A Fredericksburg, Baker hit .318/.352/.394.

If we could tap back several decades into our memory banks, Darren Baker on a national stage will certainly ring a bell. It was Game 5 of the 2002 World Series between the Angels and Giants — a classic that ended up being decided in the late innings of Game 7 — and J.T. Snow was scoring on a Kenny Lofton triple. Little Darren, clocking in at around 3 1/2 years old at the time, was a bit overzealous in his duties as bat boy. And Snow came to the rescue.

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