8 of the Biggest Los Angeles Dodgers Legends
Last week we looked at the legends that turned the New York Yankees into the behemoth they are today. They are however not the only team to have had some greats of the game play for them.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have been very successful as well and of course they haven’t achieved what they have over the years without having some serious talent on their rosters. So let’s now look at the 8 players that have made the Dodgers one of the most historically successful sides in Major League Baseball.
1. Sandy Koufax
Sandy Koufax spent twelve years with the Dodgers but he elevated the team to a whole new level. His career win loss record stands at an astonishing 165-87. A 2.76 ERA and 2396 strikeouts is a phenomenal record for a player who really stepped up to the plate in the last six years of his career. Koufax retired aged 30 due to arthritis in his elbow but not before becoming a seven time All-Star, four times World Series winner and three times Cy Young Award winner. Koufax also won two World Series MVP gongs and the Triple Crown thrice to etch his name in history books as one of baseball’s all-time greats.
2. Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson created history in more ways than one. The guy was talented and he had nerves of steel to go with it. Robinson was the first player to break the color barrier when he joined the Dodgers to become the first African-American to play in professional leagues. He had to face a lot of resentment from a big portion of the baseball community but he kept his emotions in check and eventually won everyone over. His signing was a watershed moment in American professional sports history.
His stats also mark him out as an exceptional player. He retired with a career batting average of .311 and 1518 hits to his name. He also smacked 137 HRs and a 734 RBI to go with 197 stolen bases. Robinson was a six time All-Star and NL MVP and an NL batting champion. He also lifted the World Series once with the Dodgers. Jackie Robinson not only opened the door for African American players to join the professional leagues but also showed the world that they could play.
3. Duke Snider
Duke Snider had baseball career spanning eighteen years, sixteen of which were spent with his first team, the Dodgers. Known as “The Silver Fox” Duke is a very important part of the franchise’s history. His batting career average stands at .295 with 407 HRs and a 1333 RBI. He hit 389 of those home runs in a Dodgers jersey and his batting average during that time frame was an exact .300 with a 1271 RBI. He also won two World Series titles and made it to seven All-Star squads as a member of the Dodgers roster.
4. Don Drysdale
Don Drysdale made his debut with the Dodgers in 1956 and retired playing for them in 1969. During this time, he established himself as one of the best starting pitchers in the franchise’s history. Drysdale was a big game player who the Dodgers counted on to deliver for fourteen years. 209-166 was his win loss record with a 2.95 ERA. He also had a whopping 2486 strikeouts to his credit. Drysdale made it to nine All-Star teams, picked up the Cy Young Award in 1962 and got his hands on three World Series titles to cement his place among the most famous names in Dodgers history.
5. Roy Campanella
Baseball has produced some great catchers over the years but not a lot of them have been better than the legendary Roy Campanella. He spent a decade with the Dodgers and scored 242 home runs and accumulated an 856 RBI. Campanella also was an eight time All-Star. He won the World Series once and was declared the NL MVP and an NL RBI champion, thrice and once respectively. “Campy” bid goodbye to baseball due to a serious accident that left him paralyzed.
6. Orel Hershiser
Orel Hershiser had a career spanning eighteen years, thirteen of which came as a Dodger. His overall win loss record stands at 204-150 with a 3.48 ERA and 2014 strikeouts. With Dodgers he went 135-107 and a 3.12 ERA to go with an incredible 1456 strikeouts. Hershiser also earned three All-Star selections. He won the NL Cy Young Award, the World Series MVP title, the Golden Glove Award and the World Series with the Dodgers. Not only that, but the record for not giving up a run in 59 straight innings was also set by him. No one has even come anywhere close to that record ever since, let alone break it.
7. Fernando Valenzuela
In the eleven years that he spent as a Dodgers player, Fernando Valenzuela became one of the most important players of his time. He began his career with a bang when in 1981 he led the Dodgers to the World Series title. Valenzuela won the Cy Young Award and the Rookie of the Year gong for his performances that year to become the first player in the sport’s history to pick up the two awards in a single season.
He left the Dodgers with a 141-116 record with a 3.31 ERA and an impressive 1759 strikeouts to his name. Valenzuela also made it to six All-Star rosters and picked up a Golden Glove Award to become one of the most legendary Dodgers of all time.
8. Pee Wee Reese
If there is person who stood by Jackie Robinson during those tough years, it was none other than another Dodger legend, Pee Wee Reese. And he was more than just a good baseball player as well.
Pee Wee Reese spent sixteen years with the Dodgers and became a cornerstone of the team’s success during that era. He amassed 1338 runs and 1210 walks. Reese also notched up 2170 hits over the course of what was a stellar career. “The little colonel” made it to ten All-Star selections and got his hands on two World Series titles to boot. A brilliant player and arguably Dodgers greatest captain, Pee Wee Reese deserves his place among baseball elite.
There you go, this is our list of the 8 players that have been more instrumental than others in all the success Dodgers have achieved over the years.
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