This Day In Dodgers History: Walter Alston Reaches 2,000 Career Wins; Jackie Robinson Statue Unveiled

On July 17, 1976, manager Walter Alston recorded his 2,000th career win as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Chicago Cubs, 5-4, at Dodger Stadium. Alston finished his 23-year managerial career with 2,040 wins, the most in Dodgers franchise history and good for ninth in MLB history.

He reached the benchmark despite the Cubs jumping on Rick Rhoden to take a 4-0 lead in the first inning. To Rhoden’s credit, that was all he allowed en route to somewhat improbably throwing a complete game.

Dusty Baker began the Dodgers’ comeback with an RBI double in the second inning. L.A. then scored two runs in both the third and fourth innings. The Dodgers finished in second place in the National League West during the 1976 season, Alston’s last at the helm, with a 92-70 record.

Alston’s managerial career began when he was hired by Brooklyn on November 24, 1954. At the time the Dodgers were coming off back-to-back National League pennants but consecutive losses to the New York Yankees in the World Series.

The Dodgers had never won a championship before Alston took over, then went on to win four World Series under his direction — 1955, 1959, 1963 and 1965. They additionally reached the 1966 Fall Classic but fell short against the Baltimore Orioles.

The 1955 World Series win resides as the only championship in Brooklyn franchise history.

Alston managed several icons, such as Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider. Alston was elected into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee on March 10, 1983.

He is one of just four MLB managers with at least 2,000 career wins. Alston’s No. 24 jersey is retired by the Dodgers and recognized via a decal in the Dodger Stadium Ring of Honor and through oversized numbers installed on the Top Deck.

Dodgers history: Jackie Robinson statue

Also on this day in Dodgers history, Marc Melon’s sculpture of the handshake between Jackie Robinson and George “Shotgun” Shuba was unveiled in Youngstown, Ohio, on July 17, 2021. The statue featuring Robinson was dubbed “A Handshake for the Century.”

Shuba, a Youngstown native, shook Robinson’s hand during a 1946 International League game, to mark the sports’ first welcome gesture between a white and black player.

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