Dodger Legends - Los Angeles Dodgers History
The Dodgers inaugural year into the sport of baseball began in Brooklyn in 1890 and could not have had a more Cinderella beginning. They captured the National League pennant with an 86-43 record. This would turn out to be the first of 21 pennants they would win during the next 100 years.
The turn of the century marked a significant decline and period of unsuccessful years for the Dodgers that lasted a decade and a half. It wasn't until 1916 that Brooklyn would recapture the National League pennant and regain its elite status of being one of baseball's top clubs. However that status turned out to be short lived.
The 20’s and 30’s were just as gloomy as any other dark years the Dodgers had amassed. After winning the NL pennant in 1920, it wouldn’t be until 1941, 21 years later, where they would recapture the pennant.
Plagued by World War II, players serving in the military, and a very inadequate number of years, the Dodgers reached another dry spell in their history from 1942 – 1946. However, the Brooklyn ball club would garner the best record in the National League en route to another pennant by ousting their rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. This would not be the biggest story-line of the 1947 season though.
Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier for baseball and made his debut for Brooklyn in 1947.
At the turn of the decade the Dodgers created a dominance in sports that was arguably one of the greatest teams of all time. They not only made the move from one historic city to another, Brooklyn to Los Angeles, but they conquered opponents winning five NL pennants in ten years (1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, and 1959). They also went on to win two world championships in that span and only had two out of ten seasons that decade where they finished below second place. The 50’s also marked a change in the voice of Dodger’s baseball. Vin Scully joined the broadcasting booth in April of 1950.
The 60’s are imprinted with more Dodger pennants (1963, 1965, and 1966), two World Series championships (1963 and 1965), and two of baseballs elite pitchers, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Unfortunately for Don and the Dodgers, physical impairment would force him to retire earlier than planned, but Koufax would lead another decade of Dodger winners to three more pennants and three more World Series appearances. Tommy Lasorda also took over as the Los Angeles manager in 1977.
One of the greatest moments in sports and Dodgers history happened in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. Kirk Gibson limped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and smashed a walk off two run home run that would eventually crown Los Angeles as World Champions. That would turn out to be his only plate appearance of the entire series.
The Dodgers struggled to find their identity and play consistent baseball in the 1990’s, making it the first decade since the 1930’s where they did not make a World Series appearance.
Currently the Dodgers sit atop not just the National League but the MLB. They hold the best record in baseball look to close out the year on that mark, along with an NL pennant, and a World Championship.