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From the Archives: Dodgers win 1983 Western Division championship

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ 1983 season resembled a roller coaster.
Sep. 30, 1983: Manager Tom Lasorda is at head of the pack as the Dodgers celebrate winning National League West title following news of Atlanta loss.
(Jayne Kamin / Los Angeles Times)

The Dodgers’ 1983 season resembled a roller coaster. In June, the Dodgers led Atlanta by 5 1/2 games. In August, they fell 6 1/2 games behind Atlanta. But on Sept. 30, the Dodgers led Atlanta by three games with three games to play.

Staff writer Mark Heisler reported in the next morning’s Los Angeles Times:

Now, it’s over. The Dodgers, revamped, written off and rained on, won the West at 9:06 Friday night when the Braves lost in San Diego, setting off a wild celebration in Dodger Stadium.

Not a word was announced, but the sky was immediately filled with paper napkins, a reasonable facsimile of a tickertape parade. The Dodger game was in the top of the sixth, with Fernando Valenzuela leading the Giants, 3-0. Valenzuela got three more outs, the regulars came back to the bench and the whole team embraced on the field. The normally reticent Al Campanis waved to the crowd from his box upstairs and blew kisses.

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Tom Lasorda, a division champion for the fourth time in his seven seasons as manager, then started pulling his starters. ...

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After hearing the news, the Dodgers bench held on to beat the Giants 4-3.

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The Dodgers lost the 1983 National League Championship Series in four games to the Philadelphia Phillies — after beating them 11 of 12 games during the regular season.

This photo by staff photographer Jayne Kamin appeared in the Oct. 1, 1983, Los Angeles Times.

This post was originally published on Aug. 27, 2013.


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