Los Angeles Dodgers
This is the most complete record book ever written on the Dodgers because it places every season and career record in chronological order. Typical record books eliminate old records when new ones are created, but this book never eliminates records, instead adding each new record to existing chronology lists so that no player or their records are ever forgotten, and the history of Dodger records are forever preserved.
Four never-before-seen features are offered. First are the chronology lists which begin in the team’s first year of play, showing the original “Record Setters” and every subsequent “Record Breaker,” to the present record holder. These lists are valuable because they show how long each record lasted before broken, all of the record breakers, and all unbroken records.
The second feature is the “Record Holders Lists,” a compilation of the top record producers that gives them honor and recognition.
The third feature is the individual “Record Profiles.” These profiles honor the team’s greatest players, spotlighting all of their records.
The fourth and greatest feature is the “Composite Record Holders Lists.” Now for the first time, one can learn exactly how many records each player has created. Two lists are presented, one for players and one for pitchers. The lists begin with the player and pitcher with the most records and ends with the players with only one record. No one is left out; nothing could be more complete and easy to understand. This information was never before available. The best way to understand the chronology lists is through this example of the home runs record.
This chronology list represents the complete history of the season home run record from the first “Record Setter” to the present “Record Holder.”
In the first year of play, Jack Remsen, Charlie Householder, and Bill Greenwood shared the home run title with three four-baggers. Germany Smith became the new leader in 1885, and the first three-time record holder in 1887. He lost his title to Joe Visner and Pop Corkhill, who each doubled the home-run record with eight.
Oyster Burns really excited the fans by blasting 13 balls out of sight in 1890, but then 31 years would past before there would be another home-run champion. This was Hall of Famer Zack Wheat, who reached the seats 16 times in 1921.
His mark would only last for two years, when it was broken by Jack Fournier, who belted 22 beauties in 1923.
Fournier would become the first two-time record breaker in 1924 when he homered 27 times. Now the stands were being filled every game as fans enjoyed seeing the long ball.
In 1930, the Dodgers had a “Babe” of their own–Babe Herman, who thrilled them with 35 home runs. This record that would stand for 21 years, until Gil Hodges blasted 40 dingers. Then came Duke Snider, who would show why he was inducted into the Hall of Fame by becoming the only three-time record breaker in 1956 with 43 four-baggers.
Forty-four years would go by before Snider’s record was tied by Gary Sheffield in 2000. Shawn Green became the present-day champion, scoring 49 home runs in 200l.
This concept of record keeping is followed throughout this book in every category of batting, pitching, and fielding. Nothing could be more complete.
The game of baseball was first played in Brooklyn in 1883 in a short-lived league called the Interstate League. At this time the team was owned by Charlie Byrne, a real estate tycoon and attorney. Baseball was a promising new sport that was rapidly becoming the craze of a booming industrial nation. Persuaded by George Taylor, the editor of the New York Herald, Byrne moved his team into the American Association (a major league) in 1884 and named Taylor the manager.
Byrne was financed by known gamblers Joe Doyle and Gus Abell. A makeshift ballpark was hurriedly constructed and became known as the nation’s first enclosed ballpark. The inaugural “Dodgers” found the American Association a lot more difficult and ended up in ninth place in their first year.
Charles Hackett took over the team in 1885 but did poorly, and was replaced by owner Byrne at mid-season. Byrne did better in 1886, bringing the team in third. When the Dodgers struggled in 1887, Byrne hired Bill McGunnigle to run the club. He brought the team in second, and they went on to win their first pennant in 1889.
With this success, Byrne moved the team into the National League in 1890 and they won their second pennant in a row.
In 1891, manager Monte Ward did poorly and and the team became a second division club until 1898.
During this time, the team took on the names Trolley Dodgers, Bridegrooms, and the Ward Wonders. When Ned Hanlon took over the team they were called the Hanlon’s Superbas, and under manager Wilbert Robinson they were called The Robins. The name of Dodgers did not come about until 1931. Most often they were called, “dem lovable bums.”
Charles Ebbets became part owner of the team in 1897 and offered Baltimore Orioles owner, Harry Von der Horst, majority ownership of the Dodgers. Von der Horst promptly sent his best players to the Dodgers. This was legal in those days, and Von der Horst became a wealthy man when the Dodger won pennants in 1899 and 1900 under manager Ned Hanlon. But there would be no Dodger dynasty, as the emerging American League raided many of their players. The team would not win another pennant until 1916 and 1920.
During this skid, Charles Ebbets would become full owner of the team and borrowed $750,000 to build a new stadium called Ebbets Field, which opened on April 9, 1913. During the roaring ’20s, the Dodgers would be called “The Daffy Boys and the Hapless Dodgers.”
When Ebbets died in 1925, Lee MaacPhail took over the team and set out to get the best players, hiring Leo Durocher “Leo the Lip” as manager. Games were now announced on radio and the first night game was played on June 15, 1938.
Brooklyn was never the same after this. The excitement and love for “The Bums,” was tremendous and the team would dominate the NL after winning the pennant in 1941.
When MacPhail left, Branch Rickey took over and continued their winning ways. He brought Jackie Robinson in to break the color line, which dramatically changed the future of baseball. “Wait ‘til next year,” was a familiar phrase heard when the Dodgers could not beat the Yankees in the World Series, until success came in 1955. When Walter O’Malley took over the team in 1958, he moved them to Los Angeles. The team would do well, winning eight pennants and four World Series.