Dodgers History: Greatest Canadians That Played for the Dodgers
Freddie Freeman
Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers have a proud history, with dozens of division titles and seven World Series (to date). Among the contributors to their success are various players from Canada. Here’s a look at some of the best Canadians to play for the Dodgers.

Freddie Freeman

First on our list of great Canadians who have played for the Dodgers is first baseman Freddie Freeman, who is still with the team at the time of writing (Freeman is a dual citizen as both his parents were born in Canada, although he was born in the USA). He joined in 2022, having spent 2010-21 with the Atlanta Braves. Freeman signed a six-year $162m contract when moving to the Dodgers, defying expectations he would stay with the Braves for his whole career after it proved impossible to find a mutually acceptable contract with his previous team.

It was versus the Braves that Freeman hit his first home run for the Dodgers. Most of his career achievements and highlights have been with the Braves, including three Silver Sluggers (2019-21), the World Series and Babe Ruth Award in 2021, the 2018 Gold Glove, and half a dozen MLB All-Star appearances.

Freeman is a big hitter and well-regarded, and while his time at the Dodgers is only just beginning, hopes are high given his past performance. He’s also a charitable fellow, as proven by the $500,000 pledge to his Orange County alma mater for new facilities.

Eric Gagne

There have been many Canadian baseball legends, from Joey Votto and Larry Walker to Fergie Jenkins. One Canadian player who was one of the best around, and played for the Dodgers, was Éric Gagné. He signed for the team in 1995 as a starting pitcher, and while things got off to a stuttering start, a shift to reliever did the trick.

Come 2002-4, Gagné had grown into a real asset for the Dodgers as the best closer in the game, winning the 2003 Cy Young Award. This purple patch also saw Gagné convert 84 save opportunities in a row (a record-breaking statistic). In 2003 he also achieved a record of 55 saves within a single season. In 2005 and 2006, injury and surgery conspired to limit his playing time, and in 2007 signed with the Texas Rangers.

Russell Martin

Formerly a catcher, talented Canadian Russell Martin began and ended his career with the Dodgers, playing for two stints from 2006 to 2010 and returning in 2019. During his career, he won the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards (both in 2007) and was an MLB All-Star on four occasions.

Martin started with the Dodgers in 2006 and was their everyday catcher right away, a role he held for four years. He made a running start to his career and earned much praise for his offensive and defensive capabilities, though towards 2009-10, his performance waned and in 2011 he left for new pastures. In his first game for the Dodgers, Martin got two hits, and later that same month (May 2006), he hit his first home run. A year later, versus the Pittsburgh Pirates, he hit a career first walk-off grand slam and a month later broke the Dodgers’ record for single-season steals by a catcher.

His form improved until 2009-10 when it declined markedly. Martin left the team, returning in 2019 for a single year. He formally announced his retirement in May 2022 in an Instagram post.

Paul Quantrill

Paul Quantrill was a talented Canadian pitcher who hopped about a lot of teams (seven in total), and one of these was the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002-03. Inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010, Quantrill spent parts of seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, and Miami (Florida) Marlins. Quantrill led the league in appearances four years in a row and, on five separate occasions, made over 80 appearances.

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