Over the course of the month, LWOSports will be breaking down the top five MLB players in franchise history for all 30 teams. This article will rank the top five Los Angeles Dodgers players in franchise history least to best by who had the biggest impact for the team. You can check out the other series articles here.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a long history which dates all the way back to 1884 in Brooklyn. The franchise went through a handful of name changes before settling permanently on the Dodgers in 1932. After the 1957 season was completed, they moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Sadly for Brooklyn fans, the team had gotten good and in fact appeared in seven World Series between 1941 and 1957. 1955 was the only one of those appearances to yield a title, which was also the first in franchise history. Between 1959 and 1988, the Dodgers appeared in nine more World Series, winning five of them, including the 1988 edition. Recently, the team has found much success including two more World Series appearances the last two seasons. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most storied franchises in baseball. Here are the top five Los Angeles Dodgers players in franchise history.
Top Five Los Angeles Dodgers Players
5. Roy Campanella
Roy Campanella comes in at number five on the top five Los Angeles Dodgers players in franchise history. Campanella only played 10 years in the major leagues, all with the Dodgers. Certainly, it is amazing what he accomplished having won three MVP awards during his time in Brooklyn. During all three of his MVP seasons, he had over 100 runs batted in, including a league-leading 142 in 1953. As a catcher, that is phenomenal to be sure, which added to Campanella’s case to be included.
Accolades with the franchise: Hall of Fame, three-time MVP, eight-time All-Star, 1955 World Series champ
Stats with the franchise: .276 batting average, .360 on-base percentage, .500 slugging percentage, .860 OPS, 627 runs scored, 1,161 hits, 178 doubles, 18 triples, 242 home runs, 856 runs batted in, 533 walks, 501 strikeouts
Franchise ranks: 11th in WAR, 10th in offensive WAR, t-19th in defensive WAR, t-46th in on-base percentage, 11th in slugging percentage, 13th in OPS, 22nd in games played, 23rd in runs scored, 24th in hits, 15th in total bases, 26th in doubles, 4th in home runs, 8th in runs batted in, 13th in walks, 16th in runs created, 12th in win probability added
4. Duke Snider
The incredible Duke Snider appears at number four on the top five Los Angeles Dodgers players in franchise history. Snider played 16 of his 18 seasons with the Dodgers franchise. In fact, he was with the franchise when they moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Without a doubt, Snider was easily one of the best players of the 1950’s decade. He went to seven All-Star games while with the Dodgers, all during the ’50s. Snider has three seasons in a row of over 1.000 OPS as well as five more over .900, which is amazing. In 1953, Snider led MLB with an incredible .627 slugging percentage as well as a 1.046 OPS. He also led the league in runs scored (132) in addition to total bases (370) that year. Snider is definitely a perfect fit at number four.
Accolades with the franchise: Hall of Fame, seven-time All-Star, two-time World Series champ
Stats with the franchise: .300 batting average, .384 on-base percentage, .553 slugging percentage, .936 OPS, 1,199 runs scored, 1,995 hits, 343 doubles, 82 triples, 389 home runs, 1,271 runs batted in, 99 stolen bases, 893 walks, 1,123 strikeouts
Franchise ranks: 2nd in WAR, 1st in offensive WAR, t-29th in batting average, t-18th in on-base percentage, 4th in slugging percentage, 5th in OPS, 7th most games played, 3rd in runs scored, 4th in hits, 2nd in total bases, 2nd in doubles, t-6th in triples, 1st in home runs, 1st in runs batted in, 4th in walks, 2nd in runs created, 7th in power-speed number, 1st in win probability added
3. Clayton Kershaw
Clayton Kershaw comes in at number three on the top five Los Angeles Dodgers players in franchise history. Kershaw has already put together an amazing 11-year career in L.A, cementing himself as a first ballot Hall of Famer without a doubt. Certainly, he is within striking distance of becoming the best Dodgers of all-time if his lingering back problems subside.
Kershaw incredibly already owns two 21 win seasons, three Cy Young Awards, one MVP, and a Gold Glove. Additionally, he has led the league in ERA five times, strikeouts three times, WHIP four times among other great numbers. Kershaw has been the definition of dominance for much of the past several years. His 2014 season was truly remarkable as he went 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA along with 239 strikeouts. Also, he led the league in WHIP, strikeouts per nine innings and more that season on his way to a Cy Young Award and the MVP.
Accolades with the franchise: 2014 MVP, three Cy Young Awards, seven-time All-Star, one Gold Glove, 2011 triple crown, five-time ERA title
Stats with the franchise: 153-69 record, 2.39 earned run average, 1.005 WHIP, 2,275 strikeouts, 536 walks, 25 complete games, 15 shutouts
Franchise ranks: 1st in WAR for pitchers, 4th in earned run average, 7th in wins, 2nd in WHIP, 3rd in strikeouts per nine innings, t-21st most games pitched, 4th in strikeouts, t-21st in shutouts, 3rd in strikeout/walk ratio, 1st in win probability added
2. Jackie Robinson
The ground-breaking Jackie Robinson comes in at number two on the top five Los Angeles Dodgers players in franchise history. Robinson played all 10 of his major league seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He broke into the league at age 28 as the first African-American player in MLB for the 1947 season. Certainly, Robinson made his presence felt right away taking home Rookie of the Year honors. Additionally, he won the MVP award in 1949 after hitting .342 for the season, which led the league. Also, he stole 37 bases that season, which led the majors as well. Robinson remains one of the greatest athletes to ever play the sport in addition to being an elite hitter. Not to be forgotten, he was also a fantastic defensive player. Just imagine what his numbers could have been had he gotten into the league sooner.
Accolades with the franchise: Hall of Fame, 1949 MVP, six-time All-Star, 1947 Rookie of the Year, 1949 batting title, 1955 World Series champ
Stats with the franchise: .311 batting average, .409 on-base percentage, .474 slugging percentage, .883 OPS, 947 runs scored, 1,518 hits, 273 doubles, 54 triples, 137 home runs, 734 runs batted in, 197 stolen bases, 740 walks, 291 strikeouts
Franchise ranks: 3rd in WAR, 3rd in offensive WAR, 9th in defensive WAR, t-12th in batting average, 4th in on-base percentage, 23rd in slugging percentage, 10th in OPS, 15th most games played, 7th in runs scored, 12th in hits, 12th in total bases, 13th in doubles, 23rd in triples, t-18th in home runs, 11th in runs batted in, 6th in walks, 14th in stolen bases, 9th in runs created, 4th in power-speed number, 2nd in win probability added
1. Sandy Koufax
Sandy Koufax walked away from baseball before turning 31. He was coming off of back to back Cy Young Award seasons. Certainly, it is hard to not think about what could have been with Koufax. Regardless, Koufax still registers at number one on the top five Los Angeles Dodgers players in franchise history. Koufax won three Cy Young Awards, one MVP along with five ERA titles during his time. He also won 25 or more games for three consecutive seasons, which is unbelievable. Additionally, he led the league in WHIP four times, strikeouts four times and several other categories. If you look up the word dominant in the dictionary, a picture of Sandy Koufax should be present. Clearly, a great fit a number one here.
Accolades with the franchise: Hall of Fame, 1963 MVP, three Cy Young Awards, seven-time All-Star, three triple crowns, five ERA titles, three-time World Series champ, two-time World Series MVP
Stats with the franchise: 165-87 record, 2.76 earned run average, 1.106 WHIP, 2,396 strikeouts, 817 walks, 137 complete games, 40 shutouts
Franchise ranks: 4th in WAR for pitchers, 12th in earned run average, 5th in wins, 6th in WHIP, 4th in strikeouts per nine innings, 8th most games pitched, 3rd in strikeouts, 11th in complete games, 3rd in shutouts, 9th in strikeout/walk ratio, 2nd in win probability added
There it is, the top five Los Angeles Dodgers players in franchise history! Obviously, there are so many great players in Dodgers history that could have been considered, however, these five had the strongest cases. Again, it was hard to leave Don Drysdale off of this list. Let us know what you think!
Embed from Getty Images