The Philippines could have another prominent name to its squad for the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers after Tim Tebow.

Philippine Amateur Baseball Association secretary general Pepe Munoz said the national team could add to the mix Darren Baker, the son of veteran Major League Baseball manager Dusty Baker.

Baker, 21, currently plays college baseball at the University of California but was more known during his infancy years as a bat boy during his father’s tenure as San Francisco Giants skipper.

Munoz bared in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum that it was Baker’s mother who sent feelers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Melissa Baker was born in San Francisco to Filipino parents who are from Ilocos Norte.

“It’s very funny because it was the mother who sent the email, asking if her son could join the team. And I said, ‘Can you please send me some background about him.’ And they sent me a whole library of videos showing the son playing,” Munoz said.

The younger Baker is eligible to represent the Philippines in the WBC, given the competition’s relaxed eligibility rules which is why Tebow was listed in the PH roster prior to the postponement of last year’s WBC due to the pandemic.

He played second baseman and centerfield for Cal in the US NCAA but was left undrafted during the MLB Draft last June.

Most MLB followers remember Darren Baker as a three-year-old bat boy during the Giants’ trip to the World Series against the eventual winner Anaheim Angels.

Darren nearly got himself in harm’s way during Game 5 of that year’s Fall Classic when he ran towards the field to pick up the bat while two runners were heading for home plate. 

Good thing Giants’ first baseman JT Snow was able to grab Baker, much to the relief of the latter’s father.

“That was my joke to the mother, that the Philippines needs players with World Series experience,” said Munoz with a laugh.

Dusty Baker played 19 MLB seasons from 1968-1986, highlighted by a World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981. He began his managerial career with the Giants before making stops with the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.

Baker was hired by the Astros at the height of the sign-stealing scandal and almost led the team back to the World Series, losing to the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Championship Series.

Source: Manila Bulletin (