1951 Brooklyn Dodgers

From BR Bullpen

(Redirected from 1951 Dodgers)


1951 Brooklyn Dodgers / Franchise: Los Angeles Dodgers / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 97-60, Finished 2nd in National League (1951 NL)

Managed by Chuck Dressen

Coaches: Cookie Lavagetto, Jake Pitler and Clyde Sukeforth

Ballpark: Ebbets Field

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers are remembered for losing a three-game playoff to the New York Giants, but what is less remembered is that the Giants played well to catch them in September. The Dodgers had led the Giants by 13 games on August 11th. They spent 120 days of the season in first place.

In fact, they hadn't played terribly in September, going 14-13. The Giants, however, went 20-9 in August and 20-5 in September (and 2-1 in October).

The Dodgers were first in the National League in most offensive categories. Gil Hodges hit 40 homers and Roy Campanella hit 33. Campanella, who hit .325, was voted MVP even though his team did not go to the World Series.

Jackie Robinson hit .338, and every starter except Pee Wee Reese slugged over .400. Even Reese had 10 homers and 84 RBI.

The pitching staff had two 20-game winners in Don Newcombe and Preacher Roe (who went 22-3). Clyde King went 14-7 in a relief role with 6 saves. Carl Erskine was a reliever in half his appearances, going 16-12 with 4 saves.

There was a big trade in mid-season when the Dodgers picked up Andy Pafko. Between playing on the Chicago Cubs and the Dodgers, Pafko hit 30 home runs.

Although the Dodgers did not go the World Series, their 97 victories equaled their total in 1949, and was the best the team had done since 1942.

Because the Dodgers finished tied with the Giants after 154 games, the two teams played a three-game playoff, as specified by National League rules of the time. The two teams split the first two games, and the Dodgers led going into the bottom of the 9th in the third game, played at the Polo Grounds, when the Giants rallied. Bobby Thomson ended the Dodgers' season by crushing a three-run walk-off homer off Ralph Branca, sending the Giants to meet the New York Yankees in the World Series. That homer immediately took on mythic proportions and would become known as "The Shot Heard 'Round the World".

Awards and Honors[edit]

Further Reading[edit]