Baker fondly recalls facing Reds greats

Baker fondly recalls facing Reds greats

CINCINNATI -- With festivities surrounding the Reds' Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony kicking off Saturday, it's not just the long-time fans recalling the memories of the former Cincinnati greats.

A thoughtful smile grew across the face of Reds manager Dusty Baker as he thought back to his playing days.

Baker, who spent the majority of his 19 years in the Majors in the National League with the Braves and the Dodgers, said he formed tight friendships with many former Reds, many of which are back in town for the ceremony.

"The Reds had a whole team full of good guys," said Baker, who is in his fifth season as Reds manager. "The whole team was a bunch of good, hard-playing good guys."

Baker recounted stories of his days against Cincinnati legends like Ken Griffey Sr., Jack Billingham and 2012 Reds Hall of Fame inductee Dan Driessen.

Baker also said he visited with former Reds shortstop and current member of the Reds Hall of Fame, Dave Concepcion.

"It's always fun seeing Davey," Baker said. "Davey was always loose and a barrel of laughs and a hard competitor. He was one of my favorites on the other side."

Despite having to face the Reds during the heart of the Big Red Machine days in the early '70s, when the team won five National League West titles, four National League pennants and two World Series titles, Baker said he still relishes his time against them.

"I thoroughly enjoyed playing against the Reds ... once I was on the Dodgers," Baker laughed. "I didn't enjoy playing them on the Braves. They beat us to death."