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The term “baseball lifer” is used frequently in the sport, but the phrase does not define one particular set of experiences.

Need proof? Look no further than the skippers in this year’s World Series.

Phillies manager Rob Thomson and Astros manager Dusty Baker have spent a great deal of their time on Earth in and around the game, but their résumés couldn’t be more different. So much so that Thomson, who has yet to manage for a full major league season, shied away from a question that lumped him and Baker together as “baseball lifers.”

“Respect level is through the roof. This guy's done – I'm kind of awkward, you putting me in the same baseball lifer category as Dusty. Cause he's done a lot more than I have, obviously,” Thomson told reporters Thursday when the comparison was made. “He's played for a long time and managed for a long time, been a great manager, 2,000 wins.”

While the expression is accurate for both men, Thomson is right: Baker has done a lot more in terms of baseball achievements.

In addition to 2,093 regular season wins, Baker, 73, has won three pennants and three Manager of the Year awards over 25 seasons with the Giants, Cubs, Reds, Nationals and Astros. He started managing in 1993, a few years after his playing career ended in 1986.

An outfielder, Baker spent parts of 19 seasons in the majors with the Braves, Dodgers, Giants and Athletics. He was a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger, a Gold Glover, an NLCS MVP, and a World Series champion.

Thomson, on the other hand, never made it past Single-A after four seasons in the Tigers’ farm system from 1985-1988. The 59-year-old got into coaching with Detroit in 1988 and held various positions, including bench coach, in the Yankees’ organization from 1990-2017. But he was passed over for New York’s managerial opening in 2017, which instead went to Aaron Boone.

From there, Thomson became the Phillies’ bench coach under Gabe Kapler and then Joe Girardi, who worked with Thomson in the Bronx. When Girardi was fired earlier this season, Thomson was finally given a chance to manage. He responded by leading the Phillies on an improbable run to the Fall Classic.

Now Thomson and Baker are both searching for their first World Series rings as managers. With Game 1 set for Friday night, the two distinctly different baseball lifers will compete for the same goal.