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Dusty Baker has retired as manager of the Houston Astros, he told USA Today on Wednesday, ending an illustrious 26-year career as a big league skipper highlighted by a World Series win last season.

"I'm very grateful and thankful to Jim Crane and the Houston Astros for giving me this opportunity, to win a championship,'' Baker, 74, told USA Today in an interview. "I felt like they've been good for me, and I've been good for them.

"What I really appreciate is that Jim has been totally honest and transparent with me on all things.''

Baker's decision comes two days after the Astros lost to the Texas Rangers in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

A news conference is scheduled for Thursday.

After signing a one-year extension, Baker guided the Astros to a 90-72 mark during the regular season -- winning the AL West division title via tiebreaker on the final day of the season -- before taking the club to its seventh consecutive ALCS.

Baker also won the World Series with the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers during his 19 seasons as a player.

Baker, who will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in three seasons, ranks seventh all-time with 2,183 regular-season wins with the Astros, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and Washington Nationals.

He is the 12th manager in major league history to reach 2,000 wins and the first Black man to do it.

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