The 20 greatest Dodgers of all time
We asked you to list your choices for the 10 greatest Dodgers of all time. You could vote via comment, Facebook, Twitter or email. And vote you did. We received an amazing 14,383 ballots. So many, that we have decided to expand the list from the top 10 to the top 20.
You were asked to rank your top 10 in order. We assigned points, with your choice for first getting 12 points, second getting nine points, third getting eight points, all the way down to one point for 10th place. Each weekday here, we will unveil the top 20, one at a time, until we reach No. 1.
So without further ado:
Gibson received a late surge of votes, probably due to his recent announcement that he has Parkinson's disease. The late surge moved him past Hall of Famer Zack Wheat for the No. 20 spot.
Gibson is here for one reason and one reason only: The Home Run.
You know you have a rich history when your team's all-time leader in wins and strikeouts can finish only as the 19th-best Dodger in history.
Sutton pitched for the Dodgers from 1966 to 1980 and again in 1988. He leads the team in wins (233), games as a pitcher (550), innings pitched (3,816.1), strikeouts (2,696), shutouts (52) and losses (181).
Why isn't Gil Hodges in the Hall of Fame?
The man is an eight-time All Star, hit 370 home runs, hit .273 with an on-base percentage of .359, is one of only 16 people to hit four homers in one game, was an integral part of two World Series championships as a first baseman and managed the Miracle Mets to the 1969 World Series title.
OK, we're supposed to be focusing on his Dodgers career here.
Don Newcombe had one of the best rookie seasons in history in 1949, winning the Rookie of the Year award after finishing 17-8 with a 3.19 earned-run average and a league-leading five shutouts. He followed that up with 19-11 and 20-9 season, before missing two years because of military service during the Korean War.
Pretty much the opposite of Tommy Lasorda as far as personality goes, Walt Alston was nonetheless one of the most successful managers in Dodgers history.
Alston began managing the Dodgers in 1954 when they were still in Brooklyn and remained manager until 1976, winning seven NL pennants (1955, 1956, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1974) and four World Series titles, (1955, 1959, 1963, 1965), three of them in Los Angeles.
Walter O'Malley received the fifth most first-place votes but finished 15th because he was left off many ballots entirely.
Those who did vote for him mainly had the same reason: Moving the team to L.A.
He made the decision to move the Dodgers from Brooklyn to L.A. in time for the 1958 season. He did not have a stadium ready for the Dodgers, so he rented the Coliseum for $200,000 a year for 1958 and 1959, plus 10% of the ticket revenue. They moved to Dodger Stadium in 1962, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Branch 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.
The third of seven pitchers in the top 20, Orel Hershiser is on this list for one big reason: almost single-handedly carrying the Dodgers to the 1988 World Series title.
One of the most beloved Dodgers while he was playing, Steve Garvey checks in as the 12th-greatest Dodger of all time.
Garvey, a first baseman, was an integral part of the longest-lasting infield in baseball history, the Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey infield, and is the only member of that infield to make the top 20.
Pee Wee Reese is a Hall of Fame shortstop and an iconic member of the "Boys of Summer." That alone is good enough to get him into the top in this survey, but most people who voted for him didn't list either of those reasons for putting him into the top 10. Most gave one simple reason: "He befriended Jackie Robinson."
Maury Wills is credited by many with bringing the stolen base back to baseball. In his first full season as Dodgers shortstop (1960), Wills led the league with 50 stolen bases, becoming the first National League player to steal 50 since Max Carey stole 51 in 1923.
Before Mannywood, before Nomomania, there was the original and the best: Fernandomania.
After an injury prevented Jerry Reuss from starting the Dodgers' 1981 season opener, the Dodgers turned to 20-year-old rookie Fernando Valenzuela. He pitched a shutout, and Fernandomania was off and running. He began the season 8-0 with five shutouts, and was the runaway winner of the rookie of the year and Cy Young awards after finishing 13-7 with a 2.48 earned-run average.
After spending years with the team as a player, scout and coach, Tommy Lasorda became the Dodgers manager with four games remaining in the 1976 season after Walter Alston announced his retirement.
Lasorda, all the while talking about "bleeding Dodger blue" and "the big Dodger in the sky," compiled a 1,599-1,439 record as Dodgers manager, won two World Series titles (1981, 1988), four National League pennants (1977, 1978, 1981, 1988) and eight division titles (1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1994 and 1995).
How rich is the Dodgers' history? So rich that a guy who has won three Cy Young Awards only ranks as the seventh greatest figure in franchise history, and the third greatest pitcher.
Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball (even factoring in his slow start this season), having won the Cy Young Award in 2011, 2013 and 2014, and finishing second in 2012. He also won the MVP last season too.
One of the greatest catchers of all time, Roy Campanella began his Dodgers career in 1948 and played with the team until his career was cut short after the 1957 season.
In that time, all he did was: Win three NL MVP awards, make eight All-Star teams, hit 242 homers, have a .500 slugging percentage and play Gold Glove-worthy defense behind the plate.
Duke Snider was a Dodger, both in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, for 16 of his 18 years in the majors. A Hall of Fame member, the eight-time All-Star helped the Dodgers to six National League championships and Brooklyn's only World Series title, in his first 11 seasons, providing power from the left side of the plate.
Naming the most famous number in Dodgers history is easy: Jackie Robinson's 42.
Also not debatable is the most famous letter.
That's "Big D,” the all-time alphabet Dodger dog.
Don Drysdale's legacy offers more than an accumulation of wins and strikeouts that eventually led to the Hall of Fame.
When you think of the Dodgers, the first thing that pops into the minds of many is Vin Scully, the greatest sports broadcaster in history.
Scully joined the Dodgers in 1950, working alongside Radio Hall of Famer and baseball legend Red Barber. In 1976, Dodgers fans voted Scully the “most memorable personality” in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
You can't do dignity to Jackie Robinson's status as a civil rights pioneer in a blog post, so I'm not even going to try, except to say that alone makes him worthy of being on this list.
But in all the talk about Robinson's role as the man who broke baseball's color barrier, one thing often gets left out: He was a great player. I can list his stats, but it's better to let others say how good he was.
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