Los Angeles Dodgers - History

History

In the modern (post-1901) era, the team, then known as the Robins, won league pennants in 1916 and 1920, losing the World Series both times, first to Boston and then Cleveland. In 1941, as the Dodgers, they captured their third National League pennant, only to lose again to the New York Yankees. This marked the onset of the Dodgers–Yankees rivalry, as the Dodgers would face them in their next six World Series appearances. Led by Jackie Robinson, the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era, and three-time National League Most Valuable Player Roy Campanella, also signed out of the Negro Leagues, the Dodgers captured their first World Series title in 1955 by defeating the Yankees for the first time. This team is best remembered as it was described in Roger Kahn's acclaimed book, "The Boys of Summer."

Following the 1957 season, the team left Brooklyn. In just their second season in Los Angeles, the Dodgers won their second World Series title, beating the Chicago White Sox in six games in 1959. Spearheaded by the dominant pitching style of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, the Dodgers captured three pennants in the 1960s and won two more World Series titles in 1963, sweeping the Yankees in four games, and 1965, edging the Minnesota Twins in seven. The 1963 sweep represented their second victory against the Yankees and first against them as a Los Angeles team. The Dodgers won three more pennants in 1974, 1977 and 1978, but lost in each World Series appearance. They went on to win the World Series again in 1981, thanks to pitching sensation Fernando Valenzuela. The early 1980s were affectionately dubbed "Fernandomania." In 1988, another pitching hero, Orel Hershiser, again led them to a World Series victory, aided by one of the most memorable home runs of all time, by their injured star outfielder Kirk Gibson coming off the bench to pinch hit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning of game 1, in his only appearance of the series.

The Dodgers share a fierce rivalry with the San Francisco Giants, the oldest rivalry in baseball, dating back to when the two franchises played in New York City. Both teams moved west for the 1958 season. The Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles Dodgers have collectively appeared in the World Series 18 times, while the New York Giants and San Francisco Giants have collectively appeared 19 times and have been invited 20 times. The Giants have won one more World Series (7); the Dodgers have won 21 National League pennants, while the Giants hold the record with 22. Although the two franchises have enjoyed near equal success, the city rivalries are rather lopsided and in both cases, a team's championships have predated to the other's first one in that particular location. When the two teams were based in New York, the Giants won five World Series championships, and the Dodgers one. After the move to California, it has almost been the reverse—the Dodgers have won five in Los Angeles, the Giants won two in San Francisco.

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