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Ex-Cal Baseball Star Darren Baker Returns to the World Series to Cheer on His Dad

Dusty Baker will lead the Astros against the Braves in Game 1 tonight at Houston.

Former Cal baseball star Darren Baker will be at Minute Maid Park in Houston this evening, cheering for his Dad in the World Series.

Dusty Baker, 72, will try to win his first championship — and exorcise some baseball demons — when he guides his Houston Astros against the Atlanta Braves.

Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is tonight at 5:09 p.m. on FOX.

My old newspaper asked me to track down Darren Baker to talk about his father’s unfortunate postseason experiences — think Russ Ortiz and Steve Bartman.

And, of course, Darren had his own famous moment in the 2002 World Series, when he was just a bit too enthusiastic about his role as batboy for the Giants against the Angels.

Here's my story.

I asked Darren whether J.T. Snow would be on hand, you know, just in case.

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“Not at this time,” laughed Darren, now 22 and a minor-leaguer for the Washington Nationals after completing his career at Cal last spring. “J.T.’s a great guy. But I’m OK this time.”

Baker was just 3 years old when Snow saved him from being run over at the plate. As a result, he has no first-hand memory of the episode that has been viewed millions of times online.

“It’s something I wish I remembered being on the field at that moment,” he said. “But if there was no YouTube or video, I would have no idea.

“It’s kind of hard to believe that was me when I see it sometimes. It’s something you laugh at at this point.”

Here is that play of 19 years ago:

Cover photo of Darren Baker courtesy of Cal Athletics

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo