Garry Baker

Image DOB: 24 March 1953

MFC Debut: Round 1, 1974 against Carlton at Princes Park
Last MFC Game: Round 13, 1981 against Footscray at Waverley

From: Leongatha/Meeniyan-Dumbalk/Footscray

Number: 1 (1974-1981)

Best and Fairest - 1978
Best First Year Player - 1974
150 Heroes selection

Games: 127 (147 total)
Goals: 116 (126 total)
Career Statistics

WinsDrawsLossesWinning %

After spending 1971 in the Footscray Reserves, the ruckman made his senior debut in Round 1, 1972. He didn't play at the top level again until Round 2, 1973, but played 13 games for the season. At the end of that year he was swapped to Melbourne with Charles Pagnoccolo and John Keast in exchange for Greg Parke.

Baker's performance in the Reserves finals had impressed the Demon hierarchy, and Baker had an instant impact in the poor 1974 side, winning the Best First Year Player award. Improving his fitness, and general around the ground play Baker quickly became his side's number one ruckman. In 1976 he suffered a hamstring injury in training before Round 12 and didn't play another game for the year. In 1977 he was played in a variety of positions because Craig McKellar had the ruck spot occupied. Baker considered leaving the club and joining a VFA side, but after McKellar retired Baker came into his own and won the 1978 Best and Fairest.

He suffered a knee injury in Round 1, 1979 which caused him to miss the next six matches. He had already injured his other knee during a basketball game at a sports exhibition during the pre-season after colliding with Tony Shaw of Collingwood. Melbourne sought compensation from the organisers of the exhibition.

Instead of an operation that would end his season, Baker worked to strengthen his knee with exercise. He returned to play 16 matches for the season and another 16 in 1980 before he hurt his knee again. He played his last game in Round 13, 1981 but missed the rest of the season after more exploratory surgery on the knee. He only played two Reserves games in, 1982 but remained on the list until March 1983 when he was delisted after tearing his groin in a practice game.

The match committee decided that at 30, Baker was too old to regain full fitness but Sydney took a chance on him as an experienced big man. He played five games for the Swans that year. Baker was offered a role as non-playing coach of the Swans' Reserves in 1985, but instead finished his career in the VFA with stints as coach at Mordialloc in 1985 and Moorabbin in 1986. Both times his stint at the club ended without him being paid in full for his services.

He then moved to Hobart to operate a hotel and played two games for Sandy Bay before retiring. In 1991 he played for Hobart side University's Fourths.

1974 20240
1975 16150
1976 891
1977 17185
1978 22128
1979 16114
1980 16230
1981 1202
Tribunal Record
Round 21, 1979 Striking Not Guilty
1980 Escort Cup Round 1 Striking Not Guilty


May have been non-playing coach of Moorabbin.

In an Inside Football 1992 interview, Baker said the club didn't tell him he'd been delisted and he showed up for the club's jumper presentation but out when the announcer reached number 54 and he wasn't involved. Contemporary media reports suggest this was not correct (Age 22/03/1983)

Age - 16/06/1976
Age - 30/08/1978
Age - 22/02/1979
Age - 08/03/1979
Age - 10/04/1979
Inside Football - 17/05/1979
Age - 08/03/1980
Inside Football - 02/07/1981
Inside Football - 10/03/1983
Age - 22/03/1983
Inside Football - 06/03/1986
Inside Football - 08/05/1986
Inside Football - 19/02/1992
AFLPlayers.com.au - 03/05/2016

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Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Friday 15 March 2024 12:04:43 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 45)

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