Los Angeles Dodgers Team History
The Dodgers were the first Major League Baseball team to ever play in Los Angeles. On April 18, 1958, the Dodgers played their first game in Los Angeles, defeating the former New York and now new San Francisco Giants, 6–5, before 78,672 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The process of building Walter O’Malley’s dream stadium soon began in semi rural Chavez Ravine, in the hills just north of downtown L.A. There was some political controversy, as the residents of the ravine, mostly Hispanic and mostly poor, resisted the eminent domain removal of their homes (land which had been previously condemned for a public housing project, Elysian Park Heights) and gained some public sympathy. Still, O’Malley and the city government were determined, and construction proceeded. The resistance of the residents against their removal was known as the Battle of Chavez Ravine. Construction on Dodger Stadium was completed in time for Opening Day 1962. With its clean, simple lines and its picturesque setting amid hills and palm trees, the ballpark quickly became an icon of the Dodgers and their new California lifestyle. O’Malley was determined that there would not be a bad seat in the house, achieving this by cantilevered grandstands that have since been widely imitated. More importantly for the team, the stadium’s spacious dimensions, along with other factors, gave defense an advantage over offense and the Dodgers moved to take advantage of this by assembling a team that would excel with its pitching.
The 1959 World Series featured the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers beating the American League champion Chicago White Sox, four games to two. It was the first pennant for the White Sox in 40 years (since the 1919 Black Sox Scandal). It was the Dodgers’ second World Series championship in five years, their first in Los Angeles, and marked the first Championship for a West Coast team.
The 1963 World Series matched the two-time defending champion New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Dodgers sweeping the Series in four games to capture their second title in five years, and their third in franchise history.
The 1965 World Series featured the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers against the American League champion Minnesota Twins, who had won their first pennant since 1933 when the team was known as the Washington Senators. The Dodgers prevailed in seven games to capture their second title in three years, and their third since moving to Los Angeles in 1958. The Twins would not reach the fall classic again until their championship season of 1987.
The 1981 World Series matched the New York Yankees against the Los Angeles Dodgers, marking their third meeting in the Series in five years as well as a record eleventh Series meeting overall and last Series meeting to date. The Dodgers won the Series in a reversed carbon copy of last series meeting between these two teams which was 1978 in six games for their first title since 1965, and their first victory over the Yankees since 1963 and third over them overall.
World Series – 1988
The 1988 World Series matched the Oakland Athletics against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the Dodgers upsetting the heavily favored A’s to win the Series in five games (the exact opposite result of their 1974 meeting, which also went five games). The most memorable moment of the 1988 World Series occurred when injured Dodgers MVP Kirk Gibson, who could barely walk due to injuries suffered during the National League Championship Series, hit a pinch-hit, walk-off home run against Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley in Game 1.
On March 27, 2012, it was announced that an agreement had been reached on the sale of the Dodgers between Frank McCourt and Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC, a group of investors fronted by Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter and including former Los Angeles Lakers player Magic Johnson, baseball executive Stan Kasten and film mogul Peter Guber. The total sale price for the Dodgers (which includes Dodgers Stadium) exceeded $2 billion, making the sale the largest for a professional sports team in history, exceeding the approximately $1.5 billion purchase of Manchester United F.C. by Malcolm Glazer in 2005, On the same day, it was also announced that the members of the group will partner McCourt in purchasing the property surrounding the stadium. The sale price of the Dodgers was considered to be far higher than what the team was actually worth at the time of sale. Estimates made by Forbes placed the value of the Dodgers at approximately $1.4 billion, and the winning bid was more than 30% higher than the next highest bid. On April 13, the sale was approved by the bankruptcy court and it officially closed on May 1, 2012.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are an American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division. Established in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York, the team moved to Los Angeles before the 1958 season. They played for four seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving to their current home of Dodger Stadium in 1962.
The Dodgers as a franchise have won six World Series titles and 21 National League pennants. 11 NL MVP award winners have played for the Dodgers, winning a total of 13 MVP Awards, Eight Cy Young Award winners have pitched for the Dodgers, winning a total of twelve Cy Young Awards. The team has also produced 17 Rookie of the Year Award winners, including four consecutive from 1979 to 1982 and five consecutive from 1992 to 1996.
Brooklyn – Los Angeles
2000 – Present / Major League Baseball
1889 – 1999 / National League
1958 – Present / Los Angeles Dodgers
1932 – 1957 / Brooklyn Dodgers
1914 – 1931 / Brooklyn Robins
1911 – 1912 / Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers
1899 – 1910, 1913 / Brooklyn Superbas
Dodgers – The name “Dodgers” started in Brooklyn and carried over as the team relocated to Los Angeles. See the Brooklyn Dodgers nickname for the details.
World Series 5
1988, 1981, 1965, 1963, 1959, 1955
1962 – Present / Dodger Stadium
1958 – 1961 / Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
1913 – 1957 / Ebbets Field
1898 – 1912 / Washington Park II
1899 – 1897 / Eastern Park
2012 – Present / Guggenheim Baseball Partners
2005 – 2012 / Frank McCourt
1998 – 2005 / News Corporation
1970 – 1997 / Peter O’Malley
1950 – 1970 / Walter O’Malley
1945 – 1950 / Branch Rickey, Walter O’Malley, Andrew J. Schmitz
1925 – 1945 / Stephen McKeever, Brooklyn Trust Company
1912 – 1925 / Charles Ebbets, Ed McKeever, Stephen McKeever
1907 – 1912 / Charles Ebbets, Henry Medicus
1905 – 1906 / Charles Ebbets, Ferdinand Abell, Henry Medicus, Ned Hanlon
1899 – 1904 / Charles Ebbets, Ferdinand Abell, Harry Von der Horst, Ned Hanlon
1 Pee Wee Reese
2 Tommy Lasorda
4 Duke Snider
19 Jim Gilliam
20 Don Sutton
24 Walter Alston
32 Sandy Koufax
39 Roy Campanella
42 Jackie Robinson
53 Don Drysdale
*Blue is this team’s history