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Baker headlines inaugural Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame class | News

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Baker headlines inaugural Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame class

LINCOLN, CA - The Sacramento Hall of Fame Formally announced their inaugural class at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Wednesday.

Five inductees, all with ties to the Sacrameto community will be enshrined during a ceremony at the casino on Saturday.

Major League Baseball manager Dusty Baker headlines the group of athletes. He's joined by former NBA star and mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson, three-time NBA champion Bill Cartwright, Olympic Gold Medallist Summer Sanders and former boxing champion Tony "The Tiger" Lopez.

Baker and Lopez attended a press conference on Wednesday at the casino to discuss their enshrinement, as well to participate in a meet and greet with area fans.

"This is great, this is where my heart always was and where my heart is now," said Baker, who was a two-sport athlete at Del Campo High School in Carmichael and now lives in Granite Bay. "When I was a kid, I never thought I'd be in a hall of fame."

Baker, 63, is currently the manager of the Cincinnati Reds and recently agreed to a two-year extension. This coming after leading the team to the playoffs this past year, but fell to the San Francisco Giants in the N.L. Divisonal Series.

Prior to the playoffs last season, Baker was hospitalized and suffered a minor stroke. Despite last season's scare, Baker said he's not looking to walk away from the game anytime soon.

"I'm feeling great," Baker said. "It wasn't the game that causedme to have the problems. Some of the things I was born with. Besides, what am I going to do? I like the life I have and I make a good living at it."

He went on to say how long he'd like to remain as a manager in baseball.

"I'm preparing to leave the game in 10 years (from) now," Baker said.

As a player, Baker played 19 seasons in the big leagues, was a two-time All Star, a World Series champion with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981 and was MVP of the 1977 National League Championship Series, also with L.A.

In 1993, Baker began his career as a manager, cutting his teeth with the San Francisco Giants. He led them to the World Series in 2002, but fell to the Anaheim Angels and he left the team for the Chicago Cubs the next season.

Cartwright went to Elk Grove high school before playing 16 seasons in the NBA, winning three titles with the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls.

Before entering his second term as Sacramento's Mayor, Johnson was a star at Sacramento high school before becoming a three-time NBA All Star over 12 seasons in the league.

Sanders attended Roseville high school before winning six Olympic gold medals.

Lopez (50-8-1, 34 knockouts) is a three-time world boxing champion who grew up in Sacramento and now runs his own bail bond business in downtown. He is also planning to run against Johnson in the next Mayoral race.

The event will be this Saturday, February 2nd at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are on sale at Thunder Valley Box Office, or online at ticketmaster.com.

For more information visit www.sacsportshof.com

By Sean Cunningham, SCunningham@News10.net
Twitter: @News10Sean


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