Continuing our countdown of the 20 greatest Dodgers of all time, as selected by our readers.
No. 14: Branch Rickey (506 first-place votes, 12,764 points)
Rickey was named on less than half the ballots, but when he was named, he was usually in the top three, which gave him enough points to make the top 20.
Rickey became president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1942, succeeding Larry MacPhail, who had left the team to serve in World War II. Rickey had just spent 23 years as GM of the St. Louis Cardinals, building them into one of baseball's top powerhouses.
But let's fact it, Rickey is on this list mainly for one reason: He was the man who decided it was time to break baseball's color barrier.
Rickey searched for the right man, with the right temperament, to do this job, and he settled on Jackie Robinson. And it proved to be a wise choice.
It would be a disservice to Rickey and Robinson to even attempt to tell their story in a blog post, so no attempt will be made. Suffice to say their respect for each other can be summed up in two quotes:
Rickey on Robinson, "God was with me when I picked Jackie. I don't think any other man could have done what he did those first two or three years."
Robinson on Rickey: "Branch Rickey did more for African Americans than any white man since Abraham Lincoln."