1959 Los Angeles Dodgers

From BR Bullpen

1959 Los Angeles Dodgers / Franchise: Los Angeles Dodgers / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 88-68, Finished 1st in National League (1959 NL)

Clinched Pennant: September 29, 1959, vs. Milwaukee Braves

World Series Champs

Managed by Walter Alston

Coaches: Joe Becker, Chuck Dressen, Greg Mulleavy and Pee Wee Reese

Ballpark: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

On May 6th, the 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers were in seventh place in the National League, but the club went on to win the World Series.

The 1959 Dodgers occupy a strange place in the history of the Dodgers. It was a team that won the Series, and yet the team had no one who hit 30+ home runs and no one who won 20 games. Dodger fans remember the great teams of the earlier 1950s with players such as Roy Campanella and Jackie Robinson, but both had retired by 1959. While Duke Snider and Gil Hodges were still productive, their stats were not as impressive as earlier. Meanwhile, the 1959 Dodgers featured young players like Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Maury Wills, Frank Howard, and Tommy Davis, but each was to go on to greater fame in the 1960s.

The team had a Pythagorean record of 82-74, so they over-performed significantly. The team was fortunate to have Wally Moon leading the league in triples and finishing third in on-base percentage, Charlie Neal who led the league in sacrifice hits and tied for the lead in triples, Jim Gilliam who led the league in walks, and Roger Craig, who was second in the league in winning percentage. Larry Sherry was also a key contributor. Apart from Gilliam, none of them were long-time Dodgers stars. They were also helped by the fact that the Milwaukee Braves, who were a much more talented team than the Dodgers, underperformed, forcing a three-game playoff to determine the pennant winner.

While Chicago White Sox fans fondly remember their 1959 team which the Dodgers beat, Dodger fans are more likely to recall the 1955, 1963 or 1965 Dodger teams, who were more iconic World Champions. That is unfortunate, since the 1959 Dodgers were a team with quite a few good veterans, youngsters, and career-year players who were able to catch lightning in a bottle.

Awards and Honors[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers Media Guide, pg. 370
  • Brian M. Endsley: Bums No More: The 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers, World Champions of Baseball, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7864-3919-5

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