Alex Kielar | May 15th, 2020
The Dodgers have had a very storied history, they were founded in 1883 as the Brooklyn Atlantics. They moved to the National League in 1890. The Dodgers played in Brooklyn until 1957 when they moved to Los Angeles. They won an American Association Pennant in 1889, 23 National League Pennants, and won six World Series titles, one while in Brooklyn and five while in Los Angeles. With all this history, they have had a lot of legendary players, so it will be hard to limit their Mount Rushmore to just four. Nevertheless, here we go.
Be sure to check out all of our Mount Rushmore articles here.
Jackie Robinson (1947-1956)
Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947, but that isn’t the only reason he is on this list. He always played the game hard at 110%. During that 1947 season, Robinson slashed .297/.383/./.427 and stole 29 bases, on his way to winning the National League Rookie of the Year. His best season was in 1949 when he took home the National League MVP Award with a .342/.432/.528 slash line, 16 HR, 124 RBI, and a league-leading 37 stolen bases.
Other than his rookie year and his MVP year, he stole over 20 bases three other times and finished with a career 197 stolen bases. He finished his 10-year career with a career .311 batting average and .883 OPS. He was a six-time All-Star and helped the Dodgers win a World Series in 1955 (when he stole home plate off Yogi Berra) and he was a catalyst in every part of the game. Robinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962. His number 42 was retired all across baseball in 1997. Jackie Robinson Day has been celebrated every year on April 15 since 2004, the anniversary of his debut. Check out my podcast from Jackie Robinson Day this year here.
Sandy Koufax (1955-1966)
Koufax was extremely dominant in his 12-year career and was nearly unhittable. He won three Cy Young Awards in four years (1963, 1965, 1966), while also winning the MVP in 1963. Koufax led the league in strikeouts four times (1961,1963, 1965, 1966) while striking out a massive 382 batters in 1965. He won five ERA titles and three pitching Triple Crowns. This refers to a pitcher leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and ERA. Koufax, or “The Left Hand of God” was also very dominant in the postseason in the four years the Dodgers appeared in the World Series when he was there.
During those four years, he pitched eight games. He won the Series MVP in two of the seasons, 1963 and 1965. In 1963 against the Yankees, he pitched two complete games. He struck out out 23 and gave up just three earned runs. In 1965 against the Twins, Koufax started three games while completing two of them. He struck out 29 and allowed just one earned run.
After winning his third Cy Young Award in 1966, Koufax retired at just 30 years old. He retired due to having chronic arthritis in his pitching arm. He was afraid if he kept going he eventually wouldn’t be able to use his left arm at all. If he had been able to keep going, he could have broken several records, but his dominant six-year run from 1961-1966 got him into the Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 1972 as the youngest player to enter the Hall of Fame at age 36.
Duke Snider (1947-1962)
While Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle were the kings of New York during this era, Snider flew under-the-radar as a top hitter for the Dodgers. Over his 18-year career, he hit over 20 home runs ten times. Including over 40 homers five times in a row from 1953-57. He had 326 homers in the 1950s which led the majors for the decade. Snider led the league in slugging twice and runs scored three times. He slashed .295/.380/.540 while hitting 407 homers and driving in 1,333 runs, and while he never won an MVP Award, he did finish second in 1955.
Snider was also a solid hitter in the postseason, hitting .286, 11 homers, and driving in 26 runs over six World Series. He has an important spot in Dodgers’ history, as he recorded the first hit for the Dodgers when they moved to Los Angeles in 1957 and the first hit in Dodger Stadium when it opened in 1962. This was extra special for Snider as he was born in LA. His career was cut short because of injuries, or he could have been in the same company as guys like Mays and Mantle. Snider was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980 on his 11th year on the ballot.
Vin Scully (1950-2016)
There were several players and managers who were worthy of this spot, but the impact Scully had on the team and the fanbase as a 67-year broadcaster was second-to-none. He wasn’t just beloved by the Dodgers’ fanbase, but by every baseball fan around the world. Scully left such a positive mark on the game while having a tremendous combination of wittiness, history, and style. He left everyone engaged at all times and is the ultimate “how-to” on broadcasting. Scully was an all-in-one play-by-play and color commentator.
He was hired as a young 22-year old in 1950 while the Dodgers were in Brooklyn and moved with them to Los Angeles eight years later. I can listen to Vin Scully all-day long, and his way with words and story-telling made everyone feel like they were right there with him at the game. He was and is one of the most unifying figures in baseball and even all sports history. There aren’t too many broadcasters you can say that about, and not a single soul had a bad word to say about him.
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