Dodgers History: Five of the Greatest Dodgers of All Time
Don Drysdale, 1963 World Series
Neil Leifer/Sports Illustrated

This season, the Los Angeles Dodgers won 111-games, the most in franchise history and the second most ever in National League. Despite being heavy favorites in the postseason (as low as +200, according to GG.Bet), the Dodgers were upset by the San Diego Padres in the National League Divisional Series, ending their season on a down note.

With that sudden ending, we look back to better times and recall some of the all-time greats in Dodgers history.

Sandy Koufax

Sandy Koufax is the greatest Los Angeles Dodgers player of all time. The superstar pitcher played for the Dodgers from 1955 to 1966 and, in that time, racked up seven all-star selections, 4 World Series titles, and 3 Cy Young awards.

Koufax went 165–87 with 2,396 strikeouts and recorded four no-hitters, including a perfect game on September 9, 1965. Koufax was known to throw the best curveball in baseball history, which he would throw in all situations. He also had a fantastic four-seam fastball which looked like it was rising due to the heavy backspin.

Since retiring, Koufax has worked closely with Dodgers’ pitchers and played a crucial role in keeping the organization successful.

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson was the first black American to play in the MLB when he debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945. He went on to have one of the most remarkable careers in baseball history. The six-time all-star batted a career .313, hit 141 home runs, and scored 761 runs in 11-seasons as a Dodger. He won the World Series in 1955 and, more than anything made a massive cultural impact as the first African American ballplayer in history.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers seventh overall in the 2006 MLB draft. He reached the majors the next year and, at 20 years old, was the youngest player in baseball. Kershaw is a nine-time All-Star, three-time National League Cy Young Award winner, and the 2014 NL Most Valuable Player.

His 2.48 career earned run average (ERA), and 1.00 walks plus hits per inning pitched rate (WHIP) are the 2nd lowest behind only Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets among starters in the live-ball era (minimum 1,000 innings pitched). This season, Kershaw’s 15th, he went 12-3 with a 2.28 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.

Don Drysdale

Donald Scott Drysdale was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984 after a 14-year career with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers.  The 6’5″ Drysdale was born in Van Nuys, California, just a few miles away from Dodger Stadium.

Nicknamed “Big D” by Dodger fans, Drysdale used brushback pitches and a sidearm fastball to intimidate batters. His 154-hit batsmen is a modern National League record and a tribute to his aggressive pitching style. He was once quoted as saying, “If one of my teammates got knocked down, then I knocked down two on the other team.”

Drysdale was a 9x all-star, 3x World Series champion, and won the National League Cy Young Award in 1962. Not only could Drysdale pitch, but he had 218 career hits in 1,169 at-bats for a .186 batting average, including 96 runs, 26 doubles, seven triples, 29 home runs, and 113 RBIs.

After the conclusion of his career, Drysdale started broadcasting for the Montreal Expos, Texas Rangers, and then the California Angels from 1973–1981. He’d move on to the Chicago White Sox before taking national roles for NBC and ABC’s Monday Night Baseball. He was in the broadcast booth with the Dodgers from 1988 until his death from a heart attack in 1993.

Duke Snider

Known as the “Silver Fox” and The Duke of Flatbush,” Edwin Donald Snider was a top center field for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for 15 seasons between 1947 and 1962. Born in Los Angeles, California, Snider ended his career with an average of .295, 2,116 hits, 407 home runs, and 1,333 RBIs in 2,143games. At the age of 5 years old, his father nicknamed him Duke. Snider was a gifted all-around athlete, playing basketball, football, and baseball at Compton High School in south central Los Angeles.

Playing centerfield, Snider was an 8x all-star and named the National League’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) runner-up in 1955 to Dodger teammate Roy Campanella. He was a 2x World Series champion and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.