WASHINGTON — Dusty Baker has conducted a pre- and post-game interview with the Washington, D.C. media for 165 regular and postseason games so far.
It took until Game 165 for the origin of his nickname to come up.
What some Nats fans may not realize is that Dusty’s real name isn’t “Dusty”–it’s Johnnie B. Baker. “Johnnie” is also a nickname for most people named Jonathan, but that appears to be Dusty’s real name.
So an unnamed reporter asked, where does “Dusty” come from?
“They call me Dusty because we had a big backyard that my dad planted, had grass everywhere,” Baker explained. “It was like a football field, and then there was one dirt spot in the middle and that’s where I seemed to like to play. My mom didn’t want to call me ‘Dirty,’ so she called me ‘Dusty.'”
If you have a noun for a last name, you better be careful before adopting an adjective as a nickname. Dusty Baker is definitely better than Dirty Baker. Or Dirty anything.
“Then everybody in my family, the only thing they have called me is ‘Dusty’ my whole life,” Baker continued. “The only guys that call me ‘Johnnie’ are guys that I went to elementary and junior high school with that the teacher won’t call you by your nicknames.
“So, if somebody calls me Johnnie B, it kind of gets my attention. If they call me Dusty, I just wave.”
Keep that in mind for the next time you see Baker at a party.