A Major League Baseball franchise originally founded in Brooklyn, the Dodgers have appeared in more World Series (18) than any other team except the New York Yankees. Established in 1884 as the Brooklyn club in the old American Association, the Dodgers moved to the National League in 1890, where they remain today in the western division. In the early days the team had no official name, and went through a series of colorful nicknames, including the Atlantics, the Grays, the Bridegrooms, the Superbas, and the Robins. Eventually the popular consensus settled upon "Dodgers", a shortened form of the "Trolley Dodgers" nickname the team was known as off and on since the 1880s due to the trolley system that cris-crossed Brooklyn. The club moved to Los Angeles in 1958 and currently makes its home in Dodger Stadium.


In the early years the Dodgers often played second fiddle to their much more successful cross-town rivals, the New York Giants. The team made a splash by winning the pennant in 1890, its first year in the National League, but quickly fell into mediocrity. The Dodgers got a temporary boost in 1899 when they merged with the successful minor league Baltimore Orioles, capturing back to back pennants thanks to the managing of the brilliant Ned Hanlon, who had been Baltimore's manager, and earning the nickname "Superbas" for their superb talent. But the next decade and a half saw another pennant drought for the Dodgers, while John McGraw's Giants were dominating the league. During these early years, the Dodgers played in a number of ballparks, including Washington Park (Brooklyn, 1890), Eastern Park (1891-1897) and Washington Park II (1898-1912).

In 1913 the Dodgers moved into brand new Ebbets Field, at the time it opened, the most advanced ballpark anywhere. The new park boosted attendence and allowed the Dodgers to invest more in players and scouting. Wilbert Robinson became manager in 1914, and quickly became a Brooklyn icon. "Uncle Robbie" was so beloved that fans and the press insisted on calling the team the "Robins" in his honor. Robinson got off to a fast start, winning the National League pennant in 1916 and again in 1920, but failed to win the Series each time. In the 1920s and 1930s Robinson presided over the low point in Dodgers history, when a talented but blunder-prone club led by Babe Herman and Dazzy Vance earned the nicknamed "the Daffyness Boys" for their comic ineptness in the field. In the 30s the team didn't even have talent, and was known simply as "Dem Bums".

The arrival of a new manager in 1939 - Leo Durocher - heralded a new resurgence for the Brooklyn club. The Dodgers captured the NL pennant in 1941 and were constantly in contention throughout the 1940s. In 1947 Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier with the Dodgers, one of many smart moves by the team's brilliant general manager Branch Rickey. The team went on to win the pennant that year, starting the legendary "Boys of Summer" dynasty that dominated the National league for the next decade and perennially battled with the Yankees for the World Series crown. The Yankees won the first five World Series between the two teams, inspiring the famous Brooklyn slogan "Wait 'til next year," but in 1955 "next year" finally arrived and the Dodgers captured their first World Series title in eight attempts. Along with Robinson, the team featured such all-time greats as Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, and Duke Snider.

1958 was the year that Brooklyn's heart was broken, as owner Walter O'Malley moved the team west to Los Angeles, a more profitable market than Brooklyn despite the fact that Brooklyn club was one of the league leaders in attendance every year. Adding to the injury, beloved Ebbets Field was knocked down and turned into an apartment complex. But the Dodgers continued their winning ways in their new home, and the 1960s was one of the best decades in team history. Powered by the dominating pitching duo of Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax and the speed of Maury Wills, the club captured four pennants and three World Series titles from 1959 to 1966. In 1962 the team moved into brand new Dodger Stadium after playing in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for four years.

The 1970s and 1980s brought more successes for the Dodgers and their new manager Tommy Lasorda, who took over when the legendary Walter Alston resigned in 1976 after 22 years at the helm. In these two decades the Dodgers captured seven division crowns, five National League pennants, and two World Series titles, in 1981 and 1988. The light-hitting 1988 club, led by pitcher Orel Hershiser, won one of the unlikeliest of World Series championships, highlighted by Kirk Gibson's miraculous 9th inning home run in game one that was recently voted the most memorable sports event in Los Angeles history.

The 1990s witnessed somewhat of a decline in the Dodgers' fortunes. Although the Dodgers continued to contend every year, they failed to win a postseason game in a decade for the first time since the 1930s. In an age of corporately owned baseball teams, the Dodgers were the last team owned wholely by a single individual, and owner Peter O'Malley (Walter's son) could not keep up with rising payrolls by paying out of his own pocket anymore. In 1997 he sold the team to Rupert Murdoch's Fox corporation. The former TV executives Fox chose to run the team had no experience managing a baseball franchise, and proceeded to make a series of blunders that seriously hurt the team's on-field aspirations, beginning with an ill-advised move of trading away future Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza and culminating with several mistakes made by the new general manager Fox hired, Kevin Malone. Finally in 2000, a former Warner Bros. executive, Bob Daly, bought a stake in the team and took over as acting owner. Daly soon fired Malone and began working to get the team back to its winning ways of the past.

The Numbers:

National League Pennants: 21 (NL record)
World Series Appearances: 18 (second to Yankees)
World Series Championships: 6 (1955, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, 1988)

NL MVP winners (12):

Jake Daubert, 1913
Dazzy Vance, 1924
Dolph Camilli, 1941
Jackie Robinson, 1949
Roy Campanella, 1951
Roy Campanella, 1953
Roy Campanella, 1955
Don Newcombe, 1956
Maury Wills, 1962
Sandy Koufax, 1963
Steve Garvey, 1974
Kirk Gibson, 1988

Cy Young Award winners (9):

Don Newcombe, 1956
Don Drysdale, 1962
Sandy Koufax, 1963
Sandy Koufax, 1965
Sandy Koufax, 1966
Mike Marshall, 1974
Fernando Valenzuela, 1981
Orel Hershiser, 1988
Eric Gagne, 2003

Rookie of the Year Award winners (16, a Major League record):

Jackie Robinson, 1947
Don Newcombe, 1949
Joe Black, 1952
Jim Gilliam, 1953
Frank Howard, 1960
Jim Lefebvre, 1965
Ted Sizemore, 1969
Rick Sutcliffe, 1979
Steve Howe, 1980
Fernando Valenzuela, 1981
Steve Sax, 1982
Eric Karros, 1992
Mike Piazza, 1993
Raul Mondesi, 1994
Hideo Nomo, 1995
Todd Hollandsworth, 1996

Retired Numbers:

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

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