On Nov. 24, 1954, the Brooklyn Dodgers named Walter Alston as their manager. His No. 24 jersey currently sits in the Dodger Stadium Ring of Honor as he is regarded as one of the best managers in franchise history.
Alston began his coaching career as a player-manager for the first integrated U.S. baseball team based in the 20th century, the Nashua Dodgers of the Class-B New England League in 1946. He managed former Dodger greats like Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe on that team.
Alston then managed two Dodgers Triple-A affiliates, the St. Paul Saints and Montreal Royals, from 1948-54, before being hired to manage the Major League club.
Alston remained as the manager of both the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for more than two decades from 1954-76, finishing with a 2,040-1,613 record, good for a .558 winning percentage.
The Dodgers had never won a World Series championship before Alston took over, but under his watch, they won four in 1955, 1959, 1963 and 1965. He managed a variety of great players such as Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Jackie Robinson and Duke Snider.
Alston was named National League Manager of the Year six times and he managed NL All-Star teams a Major-League record nine times, winning seven of those games.
In 1983, Alston was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee, although he was not able to attend the ceremony due to a heart attack that he suffered just before. He died from complications from the heart attack just a year later on Oct. 1, 1984, at the age of 72.
Another great Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda played and coached under Alston and then went on to succeed him as manager and brought two more World Series to Los Angeles in 1981 and 1988.
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