SportsDodgersDodgers Now

Which Dodgers team was the greatest of all time?

BaseballMajor League BaseballLos Angeles DodgersWorld SeriesJackie RobinsonSteve GarveyNew York Yankees

The Dodgers have had many great teams in their long history, but which was the best? On the heels of Times readers' picking the all-time best Dodgers at each position, we now ask you decide the best overall team in Dodgers history.

The best 16 Dodgers teams of all time have been chosen and will match up in an NCAA-tournament-style bracket, with your votes deciding the winner. The six Dodgers World Series champions get the top six seeds, with 10 other Dodgers teams filling out the remainder of the field. Starting Tuesday, you will be able to vote for one matchup each weekday until we eventually have a winner. The seedings:

No. 1: 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers (98-55, won World Series): The legendary Boys of Summer were led by Roy Campanella (.318, 32 HRs, 107 RBIs), Gil Hodges (.289, 27, 102), Pee Wee Reese (.282, 10, 61), Duke Snider (.309, 42, 136), Jackie Robinson (.256, 8, 36) and Don Newcombe (20-5, 3.20 ERA) and were the only Brooklyn team to win a World Series.

No. 2: 1963 L.A. Dodgers (99-63, won World Series): This team, which swept the Yankees in the World Series, was led by Sandy Koufax (25-5, 1.88) and Don Drysdale (19-17, 2.63). On offense, Frank Howard (.273, 28, 64) and Tommy Davis (.326, 16, 88) provided the power with Maury Wills (.302, 40 steals) wreaking havoc on the bases.

No. 3: 1965 L.A. Dodgers (97-65, won World Series): Sandy Koufax (26-8, 2.04) and Don Drysdale (23-12, 2.77) were a devastating 1-2 punch, and if Maury Wills (.286, 94 steals) got on first, he was going to steal second. The team's top power threats were Jim Lefebvre (.250, 12, 69) and Lou Johnson (.259, 12, 58).

No. 4: 1988 L.A. Dodgers (94-67, won World Series): Kirk Gibson (.290, 25, 76) not only hit an iconic World Series homer, he was league MVP and Orel Hershiser (23-8, 2.26) was unbeatable down the stretch.

No. 5: 1981 L.A. Dodgers (63-47, won World Series): The Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey infield finally won a World Series in this strike-shortened season. Many say it was undeserved, because the Dodgers didn't even have the best record in the NL West in 1981, but Manager Tommy Lasorda, knowing he already had a playoff spot locked up, cleverly rested many of his regulars in the second half, giving more playing time to guys like Mike Scioscia, Rick Monday and Steve Sax, which gave him a sharp bench in the playoffs.

No. 6: 1959 L.A. Dodgers (88-68, won World Series): The Dodgers win it all in only their second season in Los Angeles, with Gil Hodges (.276, 25, 80) and Duke Snider (.308, 23, 88) leading the way on offense and Don Drysdale (17-13, 3.46) and Johnny Podres (14-8, 4.11) stalwarts on the mound.

No. 7: 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers (105-49, lost in World Series): Many experts consider this the best Dodgers team ever, even if they did lose in the World Series to the Yankees. Seven of eight starters had at least 10 homers, with outstanding seasons by league MVP Roy Campanella (.312, 41, 142), Gil Hodges (.302, 31, 122), Jackie Robinson (.329, 12, 94) and Duke Snider (.336, 42, 126) among others. Carl Erskine (20-6, 3.54) was the ace of the staff.

No. 8: 1974 L.A. Dodgers (102-60, lost in World Series): Steve Garvey (.312, 21, 111) was league MVP though you could argue that teammate Jimmy Wynn (.271, 32, 108) deserved it. On the mound, Mike Marshall (15-12, 21 saves) pitched in an astounding 106 games and won the Cy Young Award and Andy Messersmith was a 20-game winner.

No. 9: 1949 Brooklyn Dodgers (97-57, lost in World Series): Look at this lineup: Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Billy Cox, Duke Snider, Gene Hermanski, Carl Furillo. Back that up with Don Newcombe and Preacher Roe and you have a great team.

No. 10: 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers (97-60): We won't mention Bobby Thomson's home run that kept this team from winning the NL. We will focus on Gil Hodges (.268, 40, 103), Roy Campanella (.325, 33, 108), Jackie Robinson (.338, 19, 88), Duke Snider (.277, 29, 101), Don Newcombe (20-9, 3.28) and Preacher Roe (22-3, 3.04). 

No. 11: 1977 L.A. Dodgers (98-64, lost in World Series): This was the first team to have four players hit 30 or more homers: Steve Garvey (.297, 33, 115), Reggie Smith (.307, 32, 87), Ron Cey (.241, 30, 110) and Dusty Baker (.291, 30, 86).

No. 12: 1920 Brooklyn Robins (93-61, lost in World Series): Led by Hall of Famers Zack Wheat (.328, 9. 73) and Burleigh Grimes (23-11, 2.22), this team led the league in ERA and finished third in runs scored and won the NL by seven games over the New York Giants.

No. 13: 1966 L.A. Dodgers (95-67, lost in World Series): Jim Lefebvre (.274, 24, 74), Lou Johnson (.272, 17, 73) and Ron Fairly (.288, 14, 61) were the stars on offense, but this team was mainly pitching, with Sandy Koufax (27-9, 1.73) winning the Cy Young in his final season.

No. 14: 1978 L.A. Dodgers (95-67, lost in World Series): Steve Garvey (.316, 21, 113), Reggie Smith (.295, 29, 93), Ron Cey (.270, 23, 84) and Davey Lopes (.278, 45 steals), along with Burt Hooton (19-10, 2.71) and Tommy John (17-10, 3.30) were stopped in the World Series by Reggie Jackson's hip.

No. 15: 2009 L.A. Dodgers (95-67, lost in NLCS): Andre Ethier (.272, 31, 106) had his best season and was helped by Matt Kemp (.297, 26, 101) and Manny Ramirez (.290, 19, 63). Randy Wolf (11-7, 3.23) and Chad Billingsley (12-11, 4.03) led the staff in Clayton Kershaw's (8-8, 2.79) second season. Jonathan Broxton (7-2, 2.61, 36 saves) made things interesting at the end.

No. 16: 1985 L.A. Dodgers (95-67, lost in NLCS): Pedro Guerrero (.320, 33, 87) was the best hitter in baseball in 1985 and Fernando Valenzuela (17-10, 2.45) and Orel Hershiser (19-3, 2.03) were a devastating combo on the mound.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Comments
Loading