Image courtesy of cliparthut.com
Since the all-time greatest Angels has been done on this site, it’s time to go 35 miles up I-5 and list my choices for the all-time Los Angeles Dodgers team.
IMPORTANT NOTES: I have emphasized Los Angeles because along with the players on this all-time 25 man roster needing to be retired, they also need to have performed the bulk of their exploits in L.A.
Which is why (most unfortunately) Dodger legends such as Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, and the great Jackie Robinson are not on this team as their feats were in Brooklyn; believe me when I say that if this were an all-time Dodger franchise team, those four men would be starters as they were four of the greatest Dodgers of all time.
With Robinson – of course – being the greatest Dodger ever. Period.
For those who may screaming about Clayton Kershaw not being on this list, for the same reason that Mike Trout is not on the all-time Angels team, the current best pitcher in baseball is an active player and will remain one for approximately the next ten years.
The moment Kershaw retires, he goes right into the all-time starting rotation.
But for now, here are the all-time Los Angeles Dodger starters, pitchers and reserves…
CATCHER: Mike Piazza – The greatest hitter to ever put on catcher’s gear. Looking back, it was SO wrong for the Dodgers to have traded him in 1998; they should have paid him that $100 million.
FIRST BASE: Steve Garvey – Mr. Consistency. Still holds the National League record for consecutive games played. Constant .300 hitter and Gold Glover.
SECOND BASE: Davey Lopes – GREAT lead off man and base stealer extraordinaire of the 70s, setting a record with 38 consecutive stolen bases in 1975.
SHORTSTOP: Maury Wills – 104 stolen bases in 1962, breaking Ty Cobb’s record. That’s all you need to know.
THIRD BASE: Ron Cey – The greatest 3B in Dodger history; would’ve been here if the Brooklyn players were included. Was part of the longest-running infield in baseball history along with Garvey, Lopes, and SS Bill Russell, and held the all-time L.A. Dodger record for most home runs.
OUTFIELD: Dusty Baker – Did much damage in L.A. during the late 1970s and early 1980s; was part of the first quartet to hit 30 home runs on a season in 1977 along with Garvey, Cey, and Reggie Smith.
And he turned out to be a very good manager, too.
OUTFIELD: Willie Davis – L.A’s all time leader in hits (2,091), runs (1,004), and triples (110). His 31 consecutive game hitting streak in 1969 still stands as the longest in Dodger history.
OUTFIELD: Tommy Davis – The last Dodger to lead the National League in runs batted in, his 153 RBIs in 1962 still stands as the franchise record.
The greatest player in Los Angeles Dodgers history and the second greatest player in the history of that franchise, after the great Jackie Robinson. Photo courtesy of dugoutlegends.com
Sandy Koufax – If I had to choose the greatest Los Angeles Dodger of all-time, it would undoubtedly be this man as in my opinion, only Jackie Robinson was a greater Dodger than him; with his four no-hitters, including that epic perfect game in 1965, Koufax was the main factor in putting the L.A. Dodgers on the map.
Don Drysdale – Combined with Koufax as the best pitching duo of the 1960s. So mean on the mound he would throw at a batter’s head and think nothing of it. His 58 & 2/3 scoreless innings in 1968 stood as a record for twenty years.
Don Sutton – The all-time franchise leader in wins. The Dodgers’ best pitcher of the 70s, leading the team to four pennants.
Fernando Valenzuela – His “Fernandomania” galvanized the Latino community in Southern California in the 1980s, filling up Dodger Stadium when he pitched and continuing to fill that ballpark today. The first player to win Rookie of the Year & the Cy Young Award in the same season. Had a wicked screwball.
Orel Hershiser – Along with Kirk Gibson and that epic home run of his against the Oakland A’s, Hershiser was the reason behind the Dodgers’ last World Series title in 1988, which was the same year he broke Drysdale’s record for scoreless innings pitched.
How could I possibly write a Dodgers article without a picture of this great man? Photo courtesy of emaze.com
THE GREATEST MOMENT IN LOS ANGELES DODGERS HISTORY: Kirk Gibson hitting a game wining home run for the ages in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series against the Oakland A’s, propelling L.A. to the championship in five games. Courtesy of YouTube.
RELIEF PITCHERS (though some were starters):
Eric Gagne (closer) – With his all-time record of 84 consecutive saves, no one else comes close as with his entrance to Guns And Roses’ hardcore anthem “Welcome To The Jungle”, he was the reason why Dodger fans stayed through the 9th inning rather than notoriously leave in the seventh.
Mike Marshall – Helped lead the Dodgers to the 1974 World Series in a big way as he won the Cy Young Award and still holds the record for most games pitched in a season, 106 in ’74.
Ron Perranoski – The Dodger relief ace of the 60s, helped lead them to their three pennants and two World Series titles during that decade.
Ramon Martinez – The Dodgers’ best pitcher of the 1990s, he won 123 games for them with 1,314 strikeouts during those ten years.
Hideo Nomo – Much like Valenzuela with the Latino community, Nomo galvanized the Asian (particularly the Japanese) community in the mid-1990s with his devastating “Tornado” pitches, reaching a peak when he became the first pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter in hitter’s paradise Coors Field in Denver against the Colorado Rockies in 1996.
The longest standing infield in baseball history, these guys were together for eight years and was one of the main reasons why I became a Dodger fan as a kid as I grew up watching these players. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com
Mike Scioscia, C – The only man to be named on both the Dodgers’ and Angels all-time teams on this site, he was clearly the rock of the Dodger teams in the 80s with his catching and especially his ability to block the plate.
To this day I STILL don’t know why the Dodgers passed on him as their manager and let him go to Anaheim!
Johnny Roseboro, C – Was the catcher of those title-winning teams of the 60s and much like Scioscia in the 80s, the rock of those Dodgers.
Eric Karros, 1B – The all-time L.A. home run leader with 270, one of only three Dodgers with five seasons of 30 homers and 100 RBIs; the other two, Snider and Gil Hodges, achieved that feat in Brooklyn.
Jim Gilliam, 2B/3B – Did as much as anyone to establish the Dodgers in L.A. after the team moved from Brooklyn in 1958. Was SO beloved that the Dodgers wore his number (19) on their sleeves in the 1978 World Series after he tragically passed away just before and retired that number soon after.
Bill Russell, SS – Part of the longest standing infield in MLB history along with Garvey, Lopes, and Cey. Played the most games in a Dodger uniform (2,181). And even managed the team from 1996-98.
Pedro Guerrero, OF – The Dodgers’ best hitter of the 80s. A four-time All-Star, he was the MVP of the 1981 World Series along with Cey and Steve Yeager; had three 30 home run seasons and two 100 RBI seasons in L.A.
Shawn Green, OF – Was one of the top Dodgers during the turn of the 21st century, setting a single season franchise record in home runs with 49 in 2001. Gained MUCH respect that season when as a Jewish player, he elected to sit out a game played on Yom Kippur in the midst of a pennant race.
CO-MANAGERS: Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda – Were the managers for 2/3 of the Dodgers’ existence in Los Angeles as they were at the helm for all five of their World Championships, Alston in 1959, 1963 and 1965 and Lasorda in 1981 and ’88. The fact that they had completely different managing styles and personalities only added to the Dodger lore.
If it weren’t for the fact that he’s an active player and will remain one for the foreseeable future, this man would be on this all-time L.A. Dodger team. Photo courtesy of dodgersnation.com