Dusty Baker, Nationals manager and The Best, is a fan favorite for good reason. The affable skipper won over a whole family of new loyalists at this year's Nationals Winterfest.
The delightful story comes from The Washington Post's D.C. Sports Bog. It started with 9-year-old Max Antonacci getting separated from his parents and sister while attending Winterfest at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
He was only gone for five or ten minutes before his parents spotted a child on the main stage. It was their son perched on a chair, microphone in hand, next to Baker.
Apparently, Max had asked employees at the toy drive to help him find his parents. Soon, Nationals play-by-play announcer Bob Carpenter made an announcement that a kid named Max was looking for his family.
Baker then invited the boy up on stage and requested a chair for him. It's unclear how the 9-year-old ended up with a microphone, but he used it to great effect.
“I know you’re a great person because you invented the high five,” Max reportedly told the skipper. His father had told him that factoid.
When Max's mom approached and identified herself, she too was brought on stage. The crowd broke out in applause that they'd found each other. Later, Baker posed for photos with the family and give Max a signed hat and baseball.
“Dusty was so gracious, so nice, saying ‘It was so nice to meet you.’ It was amazing,” his mom told The Post. “He was so nice. I mean, I love watching him on TV, and he’s exactly like that in real life. It was a really, really great time.”
“[Max] is a fan for life, if he wasn’t before. I’m not even kidding: he sleeps with that hat on. It’s amazing. Dusty has a fan for life.”
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