The Dodgers Kind of Feel Underrated

The Dodgers are underrated. Not the current rendition that have been able to buy a bunch of free agents and build a potential super team (I’m not angry about this by the way. Every team has the option to pull this off, they just choose not to. If anything I wish my team was more aggressive in this realm plus with the modern day playoff system….it might not actually matter.) I’m speaking more of the Dodgers franchise and specifically the Dodgers franchise and more specifically the Dodgers franchise between the late 40’s and most of the 60’s.

I feel as though they were overshadowed by the Yankees, which makes sense considering the Yankees dynasty and the fact that they got he best of the Dodgers in the World Series more often than not but if it weren’t for those Yankees I feel like the Dodgers would have the most championships out of any National League team and not feel as overshadowed by the St. Louis Cardinals historically as they seem to be.

But the Dodgers won pennants in 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1963, 1965 and 1966. That’s 10 times in 20 years. They won the championship 4 times in those as well which is 4 times in 20 years. And while the Dodgers never had a position player on the level of a Mantle or a Ruth or Gehrig (granted the latter 2 are from a generation before or so) they did have what some consider to be one of the greatest pitchers ever in Sandy Koufax and they did have a Hall of Fame pitcher in Don Drysdale.

Dodgers display at the baseball Hall of fame
A Very Dodgers Centric Display at the Baseball Hall of Fame

They also had so many very good to solid ball players during this time as well. Guys like Jackie Robinson, Jim Gilliam, Willie Davis, Wes Parker, Maury Wills, Carl Furillo, Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges and since I’m naming these off the top of my head, definitely more that I’m missing, that all played at times during this era.

It’s a franchise that changed cities and regions during this era (which is hard to think of too many precedents for this) and one that had most of their ultimate triumphs after moving cities (despite a lot of National League success before this) so I kind of think this era of Dodgers baseball and non-Yankees baseball is kind of looked at strangely retrospectively (this is an era that saw weird things like expansion and a lot of city movements after about 50 years of stability in Major League Baseball) and not put on the pedestal it probably deserves as they couldn’t really get over that Yankees hump until the end of the Yankees long reign of “terror” (though after the Yankees were swept in the 1963 World Series they did make one more the next year losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in 7 games) that makes this era of Dodgers baseball not as memorable (and I’m using these terms loosely as there have been books written about these Dodgers teams) in the eyes of the more casual baseball history viewer.

I just think it’d be an interesting thought experiment to wonder if this era of Dodgers baseball didn’t coincide with the existence of the Yankees, who may have had the greatest era of sports success in North American sports? One would think the Dodgers would still be in Brooklyn and maybe their financial takeover of the sport would kind of feel similar to that of George Steinbrenner’s Yankees? (Though I suppose there is a lot of anger towards the Dodgers currently at their spending) Maybe it would be Brooklyn Dodgers hats you’d see in non baseball aware countries like is seen with the New York Yankees hat? I’m not sure but ultimately I just wanted to highlight a baseball team that I personally find interesting.

 

Also, this is more of an aside as I’m not sure I want to write anymore full articles on individuals belonging in the hall of fame just cause it’s kind of overdone but I am surprised that Willie Davis isn’t in. He had over 2500 hits, a career WAR of 60.7. He had an OPS+ above average, he led the league in triples multiple times and he played on a popular team with multiple World Championships. Overall he was a very strong and consistent player. I’m not saying he does or doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame as I’m still not exactly sure what a Hall of Fame player looks like in my eyes (I’m still trying to narrow down my personal criteria as I am okay with a Hall of Very Good after all) I’m just surprised he’s not in and if he had played in an earlier era I feel he’d be a lock for the Hall of Fame when the veterans committee of the time put some interesting selections in.

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