Dusty Baker, who managed at Dodger Stadium for the first time Monday night, said he learned about the power of positive thinking while playing for Dodger Manager Tom Lasorda, from 1976-83.
"Tommy never thinks negatively and never gives up," Baker said.
"I remember (the last day of the 1977 season), when I was going for my 30th home run and I came back to the dugout and I had two at-bats left and I said, 'Man. I don't think I'm going to get it.' Tommy hit the roof. He started sharing about the Red Sea, and how I have to have faith and how the Lord wouldn't bring me this close to the water without experiencing the fruits of victory. I said, 'OK, I'm going to do it,' and J.R. (Richard) threw me a fastball and it looked like it stopped. And I hit it over the center-field fence. I had no idea we were making history at the time."
Baker and teammates Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Reggie Smith hit 30 or more home runs in 1977, a major league record for players on one team doing so.
Baker said he also learned about melding egos from his playing days as a Dodger. "We had a whole team full of stars," Baker said. "Playing with Garvey, (Davey) Lopes, Cey and all those guys taught me how to deal with a team full of stars and help mesh them together. People are always asking me how I deal with the egos on this team, and they forget I came from a team full of super egos. That has helped me a lot."