Brief History of the Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Team
The AA folded in 1890 and the team switched to the NL as the Brooklyn Superbas. Under Ned Hanlon, the Superbas won the NL pennants in 1899 and 1900, becoming the only franchise in MLB history to win pennants in different leagues in successive years. From 1901 until 1916, the team saw various ups and downs. Hanlon’s desire to own the team never materialized. He put himself heavily in debt and even invested heavily for the construction of Ebbets Field, which would become the Dodgers' home in 1913. Under Manager Wilbert Robinson, popularly known as "Uncle Robbie”, the Dodgers won pennants in 1916 and 1920 with the line-up featuring players like pitcher Jeff Pfeffer and outfielder Zack Wheat.
The club lost both World Series, to Boston and Cleveland, respectively. In the late 1920s the team became known as the "Daffiness Boys" for their distracted, error-ridden style of play, probably because of Robinson’s helplessness to focus on the field after he assumed the title of president. He returned to manage the team to improve the performance of the team. The Dodgers rebounded from a 20-year pennant drought in 1941 under Manager Leo Durocher, a former Brooklyn shortstop. The same season, the Dodgers introduced batting helmets to Major League Baseball.
The following season, Branch Rickey was hired as president and general manager of the team. Rickey made history when he integrated the team after signing Negro League superstar Jackie Robinson in 1947. Robinson had an instant impact on the team. He along with teammates Pee Wee Reese, Arky Vaughan, and Gil Hodges led the club to the 1947 pennant. Robinson, Catcher Roy Campanella and pitcher Don Newcombe became the powerhouse of the team in the late 40s and early 50s. From 1949 to 1952, the Dodgers won six NL pennants with a World Series victory in 1955 against the Yanks. In 1958 owner Walter O’Malley moved the club to Los Angeles. Manager Walter Alston led the Dodgers to their second World Series victory in 1959. In the 1960s and early 1970s, he guided the Dodgers to four more pennants. Moreover, the Dodger’s pitching staff during this era was invincible.
The Dodgers defeated the Yankees in the 1963 World Series, and two years later they bested the Minnesota Twins to take home their fourth World Series title. Under Manager Walter Alston, the Dodgers won their last pennant in 1974. In 1976, Future Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda became the team’s new manager. He managed the club for 22 seasons, leading it to four NL pennants and two World Series championships in 1981 and 1988. In 1992 the Dodgers finished the season in last place for the first time in 87 years of their existence. The team rebounded once again in 1994, 1995, and 1996 to claim the division titles. Before the start of the 1998 regular season playoffs, Australian-born media magnate Rupert Murdoch purchased the team. The logo of the team has Dodgers written in a blue script with a streaking baseball.
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