Former manager Walter Alston had his No. 24 jersey retired by the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 5, 1977. Alston’s jersey number resides in the Dodger Stadium Ring of Honor, where Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax and Vin Scully are also among those recognized.
Alston’s No. 24 was officially retired on what was Old Timers’ Day at Dodger Stadium, and the team defeated the San Diego Padres that afternoon to improve to 36-16 on the season. The Dodgers named Alston their manager on Nov. 24, 1954, when the team was still in Brooklyn.
Alston began his coaching career as a player-manager for the first integrated U.S. baseball team in the 20th century, the Nashua Dodgers of the Class-B New England League in 1946. He managed former franchise icons 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 guide the Major League club. He remained as the manager of both the Brooklyn and L.A. Dodgers 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 was named manager, but won four titles under his direction (1955, 1959, 1963 and 1965). He managed a variety of great players such as Koufax, Don Drysdale, 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 exhibition games.
Alston was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1983, although he was not able to attend the ceremony due to a heart attack suffered just before the event. He died from complications from the heart attack on Oct. 1, 1984, at the age of 72.
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