John Baker, who famously pitched an inning for the Cubs and scored the winning run in a 16-inning marathon against the Rockies July 29, 2014 at Wrigley Field, had been serving as the team’s mental skills coordinator and later, head of applied mental skills, since January 2017.
He’ll be leaving the club for another opportunity:
Sources: John Baker has been hired as Pirates' farm director. A former player, Baker was previously a mental skills coach with the Cubs. Diverse and interesting background.— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) November 10, 2020
That’s exactly right — Baker does have a “diverse and interesting background.” Beyond his work in the mental skills area for the Cubs, he played for three MLB teams from 2008-14 and has also helped raise money for various charitable causes through “John Baker Day” celebrations.
The Cubs also let Bob Tewksbury go recently. Tewksbury had been assisting Baker in the mental skills department, and the loss of these two men likely means an uncertain future for that department, which I think is an important one for assisting players in modern baseball.
I wish Baker well in his new position with the Pirates. But this is another loss of a good man who had been quite important behind the scenes for the Chicago Cubs.