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 My All-Time Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodger Teams

It is only fair that when choosing an All-Time team, we separate Brooklyn from Los Angeles. The Brooklyn Dodgers came into existence in 1890.  They won a championship that year. They left Brooklyn after 67 seasons in 1957.

They came to Los Angeles in 1958, but had to wait until their second year for a championship. As of now, they have been in Los Angeles for 63  seasons. They have six championships there. Many try to say two of them do not count. But all the teams played under the same rules, so that argument is moot.

The only stipulation I will use for selecting these teams is that a player must have played at least 6 years in each city.

I will make this easy by choosing a full 26-man roster for Los Angeles, and a 25 man for Brooklyn. I will also pick a second choice.

 

Brooklyn

 

C- Roy Campanella, Babe Phelps: Campy is a no brainer. Best offensive catcher in Brooklyn history, and a pretty decent defender. Still the all-time leader for the Dodgers in caught stealing pct. Back-up is a little tougher but based on his offense and time as a Dodger, 7 years, Phelps makes a lot of sense. Phelps was a .310 career hitter, he hit .315 as a Dodger and caught 581 games.

1st Base- Gil Hodges. Hodges is a Hall of Famer and should have been in a long time ago. He and Duke Snider were 1-2 in homers during the 50’s Gil earned the first three gold gloves awarded for a first baseman in the NL. He is second on the all-time Dodger home run list with 361. 91 more than the Los Angeles leader, Eric Karros. Second choice is Dolph Camilli. Camilli was the NL MVP in 1941, something only Steve Garvey and Cody Bellinger have achieved as first baseman for LA.

2nd Base- Jackie Robinson. Another Hall of Famer, and a pioneer. The first Negro player in MLB has a ROY and MVP under his belt. He was a team leader and the team’s spark plug. As Jackie went, so went the Dodgers. I cannot imagine what he went through. Second on the list by default, Jim Gilliam. Gilliam was only in Brooklyn 5 seasons, but spent his entire career with the Dodgers, and he is # 1 on the list with the most games played at second base. Member of 55, 58, 63 and 65 Champs.

SS- Pee Wee Reese. Hall of Famer, along with Bill Russell and Zack Wheat, tied for the most seasons as a Dodger with 18. Known as the Captain, or the little colonel, Pee Wee was a key member of the Boys of Summer. Second is Ivy Olson who played in the early 20’s. Spent 10 years with Brooklyn. Longer than any SS except Reese in Brooklyn history.

3rd Base- Billy Cox. Cox gets the nod because of his glove, and the fact that he is one of less than a handful of players who played 3rd base more than four seasons in a row. There were some decent bats, but none with Billy’s defense. Second-Cookie Lavagetto. Lavagetto spent 7 seasons with Brooklyn. Most known for breaking up Bill Bevens no-hitter in the 1947 World Series. A member of Dodger coaching ranks also.

Left Fielder- Zack Wheat. Another easy choice. 18 years a Dodger, one of the better hitters to ever wear the Dodger uniform. Hall of Famer. Played in two World Series, 1916-1920. Second: Jimmy Sheckard. Sheckard is the only other Brooklyn Dodger who started in left for five seasons or more. .295 career hitter.

Center Fielder- Duke Snider. Hall of Famer, hitter with the most homers in the 1950’s, yes, more than Mays, Mantle, Williams or any other power hitter you can think of. Outstanding fielder. Second: Hi Myers. 11-year Dodger, .282 career hitter. Played from the late teens to early 20’s.

Right Fielder- Carl Furillo. The Reading Rifle. Great throwing arm and a good bat. Furillo is one of the very few Dodgers in history to win a batting title with a .344 mark in 1953. Tommy Davis is the last player to win one as a member of the Dodgers. Trea Turner won the title in 21, but spent the first half with the Nats. Second: Dixie Walker, The Peeples Cherce. Walker spent 9 years with the Dodgers and was a very popular player. .311 average in Dodger blue.

Starting Pitchers- 1. Dazzy Vance 2. Don Newcombe 3. Burleigh Grimes 4. Carl Erskine 5. Preacher Roe. Vance is a Hall of Famer and so is Grimes. Grimes was the last active pitcher allowed to legally throw a spitball. Newcombe had one of the best seasons ever as a pitcher in Brooklyn winning the inaugural Cy Young award and an ROY. Grimes won 240 games in his career, 158 of them with the Dodgers. Carl Erskine is the only Dodger besides Koufax to throw more than one no-hitter. Roes 22-3 campaign still has the record for the highest winning percentage by a 20 game winner in the majors.

Relief Pitchers- Since the closer did not really come into being until later, and saves were a stat added in the 60’s, we shall concentrate on the more prolific pitchers who worked mostly relief for the Dodgers in Brooklyn. 1. Clem Labine 2. Hugh Casey 3. Jim Hughes 4. Joe Black 5. Whit Wyatt 6. Ralph Branca 7. Van Lingle Mungo. Labine is well known as a reliever, and he went to LA when the Dodgers moved. Casey did most of his work in the 40’s and also was a spot starter. Hughes was a reliever for the team in the early 50s. Black was ROY in 1952, Arm problems ended his career. Whit Wyatt was a veteran who started and relieved in the late 30’s through the 40’s. Branca is most known for allowing Bobby Thompson’s homer in 51. Van Lingle Mungo was mainly a starter, but he had 51 relief appearances in his career for the Dodgers.

Bench- Since there were no limits to how many pitchers they could carry, I will list a few guys who were with the team, and were part time players: Billy Herman, Spider Jorgenson, Sandy Amoros, Cal Abrams, Rube Walker.

 

 

Los Angeles

C- Mike Piazza. Piazza is simply the best offensive catcher the Dodgers have ever had. ROY and now a Hall of Famer. His falling out with the Dodgers has upset many fans, but his trade to the Marlins by the FOX ownership infuriated the fan base even more. Second. Mike Scioscia. Caught more games for LA than any other catcher. Decent hitter and excellent defender and plate blocker. His homer in the top of the 9th in New York against the Mets in the 88 playoffs, kept the Dodgers from being down 3-1.

1st Base- Steve Garvey. Freddie isn’t eligible yet. Garvey moved to first base because of his throwing from third. He became a perennial All-Star. He was a hit machine, topping 200 hits six times as a Dodger. 1974 MVP. Second- Eric Karros. All time LA Dodger home run leader. ROY in 1992. Topped 30 homers 5 times as a Dodger.

2nd Base- Davey Lopes. Part of “The Infield”, with Cey, Garvey, Bill Russell, he spent 10 years with the team and 8 as the starting second baseman. One of the better base stealers in Dodger history. Second: Steve Sax. The 1982 ROY took over for Lopes and became a solid player. Hit .282 as a Dodger and stole 290 bases.

3rd Base- Adrian Beltre. Beltre was just elected to the Hall on his first ballot, but unfortunately, he will not go in as a Dodger. But he had some very good years as a Dodger and still holds the record for homers by a RH hitter as a Dodger, 48. Second: Ron Cey. Just a wee bit ahead of Justin Turner. Cey came along when third base was basically a revolving door for the Dodgers and stayed as the starter for 10 years. More HR power than JT had, and a very good fielder. Had one of the best April’s in LA history with 29 runs driven in.

SS- Maury Wills gets the nod here over Bill Russell. Russell played more games at SS than anyone except Pee Wee Reese. But Wills has an MVP to his credit and was part of three championship teams. Plus, he changed the face of the game with his base stealing. Second: Bill Russell. Russell spent 18 years as a player and a couple as coach and then manager. He was a steady player who made the plays and came up big in a couple of playoff games. Note: Had Corey Seager not been injured so much and missed so much time, he would have slid into this slot because of his heroics in the 2020 playoff run. Corey just misses.

Left Fielder- Dusty Baker gets the nod due to the fact he is the only left-fielder who started at the position more than three years in a row. Dusty was solid both defensively and offense wise. He had a terrible first year in LA when he came over from the Braves. But after that, he was a steady presence in the lineup. Second- No real choice here, but the two best were probably Gary Sheffield and Tommy Davis. If not for Davis’s injury in 65, he would have been a clear choice with 2 batting titles. Sheffield had a monster year in 2000 with 43 homers and 109 driven in. Honorable Mention- Simply for the fact that he became the first Dodger since Garvey to win an MVP award, and his dramatic World Series homer, Kirk Gibson gets mentioned here.

Center Fielder- Willie Davis. The 3-Dog. Willie was the starting center fielder for the Dodgers for 13 years, 3 more than Duke Snider was. He was fast, had decent power, and he was one of the more exciting players to ever wear the Dodger uniform. Second: Matt Kemp. Kemp was a very good hitter with excellent defense and power until he was injured in 2012. After that, his skills deteriorated. But he still was feared at the plate.

Right Fielder- Andre Ethier. This could have been Mookie Betts if it were not for his move to second base. But Ethier played the position and played it well for six of his 12 seasons in Los Angeles. Called Captain Clutch for his many walk-off hits, he along with Matt Kemp formed a solid defensive outfield. Second- Sorry if this offends some, or surprises others, but since Betts moved, and a couple others were not here long enough, I am going with Yasiel Puig. Outside of Raul Mondesi, the best throwing arm from right field I have ever seen. Power, speed, and played the game with what seemed reckless abandon. Had he been more disciplined, he would have probably never been traded.

Starting Pitchers- Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton, Clayton Kershaw, Orel Hershiser. Apologies to Fernando, those guys are the five best starting pitchers in Dodger history. Three of them are in the Hall of Fame, one more, Kershaw, is likely a first ballot Hall of Famer. Orel had one of the better single seasons in Dodger history. Fernando never really came close to what he accomplished in his rookie year becoming the only pitcher to ever win the Cy Young and the ROY in the same season. But this is about careers. Only Sutton did not win a Cy Young, but he won 230 games in LA and 300 in his career.

Relief Pitchers- Kenley Jansen, Ron Perranoski, Eric Gagne, Jim Brewer, Todd Worrell, Jonathan Broxton. Jeff Shaw.  Jansen is well known to everyone. Over 350 career saves. Far and away the most in LA. Gagne had 161. 88 of those came in a row. Shaw had 129, Worrell, 127, Brewer, 126, Perranoski, 100, Broxton, 84. Honorable mention goes to Phil Regan, “The Vulture”, He had a season to remember with 14 wins and 21 saves.

 

Bench Players

The LA version of the Dodgers has been very fortunate to have had several players who were very valuable as subs. Gilliam was a starter, but he moved all around the diamond. Chris Taylor and Kike from the current team are very valuable for their versatility.

Chuck Essegian was a spare outfielder who got his name in the record books hitting 2 pinch-hit homers in the World Series.

My choices for the 5-man bench, which includes what is now the DH, Taylor, Kike, Derrell Thomas, Manny Mota, and Dave Hansen. Honorable mention to Lenny Harris who came over from the Reds.

Well, there you have it. I know I probably left off someone’s favorite player, but that is my story and I am sticking to it! Have a great day!!!!

 

 

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Duke Not Snider

Solid choices.
As I recall it, Beltre had one great season as a Dodger, while Cey delivered for several years. It’s a pity Beltre didn’t stay with the Dodgers. (What a screwup!) So I’d opt for the Penguin.
Would it be cheating to select a player, based on one great MVP season and one magical swing, instead of Willie D? Are there any rules here? And weren’t some rules made to be broken? Kirk Gibson really bring fire back into the fire, so he gets my nod for his impact.
And yet, and yet… I tend to agree that Freddie and Mookie don’t qualify, just not yet. But I don’t think Mookie should be penalized for the team-first move to the infield. He should be applauded. I know I’m being inconsistent, but a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

As for the pressing matters of today….
–I’m glad Mookie got called for interference on that play at second. I think the new rule is a good rule. It was a valuable teachable moment for new permanent-for-now shortstop.
–Grove certainly raised his stock, which was nice to see. Still not sure if he makes the roster or gets packaged in the blockbuster for Devin Williams and Adames.
–McFarland had another clean inning with a K, helping his chances to stick as a lefty RP. Except for Feyereisen, the bullpen was great, allowing zero hits and walks while striking out 8. (Perhaps AF can put Feyereisen in that blockbuster with the Brewers.)
–Too bad Lux isn’t having the kind of spring that Chris Owings is having. From what I’ve read, he is likely to opt out of his Dodgers deal and get major league from another team. But it would be great to have him as the first-infielder-up in OKC.
–But maybe Okey goes to OKC and is another obstacle preventing Feduccia from reaching the majors.

Oldbear48

Kirk did not play center field. You might be thinking of Tommy Davis. But TD won two batting titles. If not for his terrible injury in 65, he probably would have been in LA longer. If the move to SS stays permanent, Mookie could supplant Wills and drop him to second. Davis in center was a no brainer, 14 years with the Dodgers. Kemp was a closer call because some would make a case for Brett Butler. But Butler, despite all his upside, had a career OPS under .800. And he cause some friction on the team when one of the replacement players actually made the roster. Reggie Smith would have been in the running, but although he played in LA for 6 years, he only played full seasons twice. The rest of the time, he was injured

Duke Not Snider

I could have sworn Gibson played CF, but I will defer to your expertise….
At any rate, Greatness over a shorter period impresses me more than longevity.
I’ll take Fernando and Orel over Sutton all the time. I liked Willie D, who definitely a True Dodger (like Cey as opposed to Beltre). But Gibson pretty much became the unofficial captain of the Dodgers after he arrived.
I know Wikipedia entries can be biased, but I think this accurately portrays Gibson’s impact:
“Gibson joined the Dodgers in 1988, and immediately brought a winning attitude after a publicized blow-up when pitcher Jesse Orosco put shoe black in his cap during a spring training prank. Gibson openly criticized the team, which had finished fourth in the NL West the previous season, for its unprofessionalism. He became the team’s de facto leader, and won a controversial NL MVP award after batting .290 with 25 home runs, 76 RBIs, 106 runs, and 31 stolen bases. While he didn’t lead the league in any major category, the intensity and leadership he brought to an increasingly successful team likely won him the award over players with more impressive statistics.[9] (MVP runner-up Darryl Strawberry of the New York Mets, for example, led the NL with 39 home runs that season.)”

I remember arguing with a colleague about why Gibson deserved the MVP over Strawberry. To make my point, I crudely crunched the numbers and found that Gibson was as just valuable to the Dodgers offense as Strawberry was to the Mets. Certainly he was more of a catalyst than Strawberry.

But that’s what’s fun about this stuff. So subjective.

As for Brooklyn, what about Babe Herman? I would lean to “the Boys of Summer” for sentimental reasons,
but Herman had some amazing stats.

(And apologies for my poor editing in the previous post.)

Oldbear48

Gibson played in 150 games for the Dodgers in 88. He played in 160 over the next two seasons. Of the 150 games, he played left field 148 times. He played center field once. In 89 and 90, he played 85 games in center. Might have been when you saw him. He played 325 games in center in his entire career. I will amend the list and say all of you are right about Beltre. Cey should be the All-Time LA Dodger third baseman, and based on his leadership and post season heroics, JT would be the backup. As for Herman, he is second in batting average on the All-Time Dodger list behind Willie Keeler. He had a .961 career fielding average. But he never contributed to a winning team and he played right field. Walker gets the nod by a hair.

Bobby

Ya after Gibson came back from injury in May or June of 1990, he started in CF for a while as I believe Kal Daniels was in LF.

I’d actually agree with Cey over Beltre as far as Dodger careers go.

Badger

Excellent choices Bear. I’ll take Cey and a 6 man rotation with Fernando in it. I would also include Tommy Davis as my left fielder, he won a batting championship and changed my hitting approach. Bill Buckner has to be in there somewhere. Loved the way he played outfield. Yes, Baker was better but he played for and managed the giants and the Astros so he’s off my favorite list. And I’ll add here I think he and/or Scioscia should have managed the Dodgers.

Yes Duke, the obstruction was a good call. The rule reads clear, no foot in front of the bag. It’s also an E-6. Mookie won’t make that mistake again. And your Grove to Milwaukee idea is fine with me though I doubt Milwaukee trades that guy.

The bullpen is shaping up nicely and I think Lux will eventually be a standout second baseman. As long as his knee holds up, his confidence will improve. And he will hit.

Oldbear48

Billy Bucks was a much better player after he left LA. He wasn’t a power hitter, Davis and Baker were. Cey was one of my favorite players, Beltre gets the nod since he had a Hall of Fame career, and was in my estimation, a better fielder.

Badger

I just liked Buckner. You’re right, he didn’t hit for power, though I’m sure he had it. In 22 years he only made the All Star team once. Beltre was pretty average until that contract year, with numbers he never repeated. Even with that year he wasn’t an All Star as a Dodger.

Oldbear48

I liked Buck too. His record as a Dodger just doesn’t match Baker’s.

Duke Not Snider

Fernando HAS to be in the rotation.
And it’s too bad Baker was never the Dodgers manager. I’m glad the Angels got Scioscia. Helped them win their ring.

Oldbear48

No, Fernando does not have to be in the rotation. On your list maybe. He did accomplish two things Sutton did not, a Cy Young and a no-hitter. But you can’t leave your all time wins leader off of the team. And despite playing on the 81-championship team, Fernando’s post season does not add up to Orel’s. And since I am using only a 5-man rotation, he falls just short.

Oldbear48

I would even venture to say that based on what he did for three seasons, Zack Greinke could have been in the rotation. Believe it or not, he is the all-time Dodger leader in winning percentage. #2 ? Walker Buehler. 3 of the top 5 in that category are lefties. 3 Roe, 4 Urias and 5 Kershaw.

Dionysus

WRT all this drama about Lux and SS, I’m not buying into the negativity. We have a large and deep pool of talent at the major & minor league levels and 162 games to figure it all out. Who will be the SS in Game 1 of the NLDS? Betts, Lux, Rojas, Sweeney, Taylor, Keekay, Luscious [sp?], someone new . . .

Betts just showing his HOF stripes in taking one for the team. I’d do the same if I were him. Upshot is Lux better hit like an All-Star though.

Badger

I know Plaschke isn’t a favorite of some here, and some who left here, but his column today sums up how I felt about the Betts/Lux move.

RC Dodger

Plaschke article was actually pretty reasonable today. Thanks for pointing it out Badger.

Bklyn2LA57

Same here. I don’t understand why they’re screwing around with this, especially this late. Defense matters, too. Just put Rojas at short until Lux proves he can handle it. There’s plenty of offense in the lineup to cover for him. Besides, they need a solid defensive presence at short with weak fielding Muncy at third.

Duke Not Snider

I appreciated Plaschke’s perspective, but I’m not worried about how the move will effect Mookie. He seems to welcome the challenge, and no doubt it will burnish his MVP hopes and HOF credentials. It’s pretty cool, I think, that he talks openly about wanting to be a Hall of Famer.
I hope Lux gets his act together, of course. If both adjust well, perhaps we’ll never see a deal for Adames or another SS. If the adjustment is poor, then go with Rojas
Gee, maybe SS will be Mookie’s job until Jeondry Vargas is ready–and then Mookie can move back to 2B.

Come to think of it, Roberts has already said he’d move Mookie back to 2B against some lefties and play Rojas at SS…

Duke Not Snider

Ah, but there’s a catch-22.
Or maybe a bad-throw-22.
If Rojas is playing SS, how can Lux prove he can handle the job?
But it’s certainly true that the Dodgers will be fine with a glove-first SS….
By moving to 2B, Lux will have the chance to improve.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duke Not Snider
RC Dodger

Good article Bear! A lot of great Dodger players on your list.
The Gavin Lux fielding problems need to be addressed but moving Betts to SS makes the Dodgers infield defense questionable at 3 positions. I don’t think Mookie will be an above average fielding SS this year. His fielding percentage was 935 at SS in his 16 games last year. Credit to Mookie for taking on the challenge, but I would prefer Rojas, Taylor and/or Kike to fill in at SS from the current roster.
Ideally, the Dodgers could keep Lux’s bat in the lineup by playing him some at DH. However, after spending $700 million for a full time DH, the Dodgers have limited their lineup flexibility for the next 10 years. Ohtani has been very impressive in spring training and I am learning to appreciate his work ethic and immense talent. But investing so much money into a long term, full-time DH has consequences. A combination of Lux, Muncy, and Will Smith at DH would allow Dodgers to keep 3 solid hitters in the lineup more often while improving the defense. The combination would not match Ohtani’s output, but the team would save $70 million a year and improve their defense. The Dodgers could have considered Matt Chapman as a gold glove 3B option while moving Muncy to DH or 2B. Plus both Freeman and Betts are aging players who will need rest in future years and ideally would be able to DH periodically to stay fresh and healthy. The Ohtani signing has been incredibly popular and he has been as good as advertised so far. But having the DH spot filled everyday by Ohtani reduces the options for the other Dodgers.

Oldbear48

Rojas scratched with hip tightness. He was going to play 3B today. Taylor playing 3rd in his place. Today Roberts will exchange lineup cards with his son, who is playing for the D-Backs against the Dodgers. Betts at SS, Lux playing second. Except for Taylor, pretty much the starting lineup. Graterol will not be making the Korea trip.

Keith

So you want to make room for Lux by not having Ohtani? That is like trading in a rolls Royce for a Volkswagen, makes no sense to me.

Make mine Blue

Yeah they should cut Ohtani, he sucks

Badger

“But investing so much money into a long term, full-time DH has consequences”

That’s not wrong. The consequence is Muncy at third. I can live with that. Lux and Smith will get plenty of innings for years to come.

Keith

The FO must think a lot of Lux, they seem to be trying real hard to find a place for him, he should take that as a vote of confidence, if they didn’t think so highly of him he would have been in a trade by now.

Dionysus

Only 26, first round pick, was highly rated prospect. They can’t all be pricey free agents.

Bluto

Wait. You are saying the Dodgers shouldn’t have signed the unanimous MVP and global icon because
–re-reads–
Rojas plays better defense!?!!!!

Dionysus

Not watching. Did Stone look as good as his line.

Singing the Blue

Yes.

Dionysus

Just saw the highlights. Good mound presence out there. He should be SP5.

Singing the Blue

Really nice to see the quiet confidence he’s exhibiting this year after really getting knocked around last year.

He took a deep breath, worked on a couple of things and came back stronger than ever.

Assuming they both continue to pitch well, I think they’ll give the #5 slot to Stone since Grove has also had good success in relief. Of course there is also Yarbrough, but my feeling is that Stone has the greatest starter upside of the three.

Jeff Dominique

Better

Keith

Double yes

Bluto

Gowdy and Rooney are pretty fun to watch

dodgerrick

And you left Babe Herman off your list how?

Keith

It must have been pretty special for Doc, to get to exchange the line up cards with his son Cole, who was playing with the Dbacks today. Watching him get an AB late in the game must of been pretty nice too.

Oldbear48

Easy, as good a hitter as Babe was, he was not that great in the outfield. Furillo was a beast in right and could hit pretty good. Dixie Walker was both good offensively and defensively. And they both played on teams that won.

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