Los Angeles Dodgers: A History

Los Angeles Dodgers: A History

Jasmine Vargas, Freshman

The Los Angeles Dodgers are an American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles that play in the National League (NL). They were founded in 1883 and are currently owned by Guggenheim Baseball Management Group, led by Mark Walter. 

Before the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, they were originally based in Brooklyn, New York, where they were known as the Atlantics, Trolley Dodgers and Robins, until they adopted the present day Dodgers nickname. Many baseball greats such as Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson and Don Newcombe played in the Brooklyn Dodgers franchise, whose home stadium was Ebbets Field.

The first franchise title came in 1955, when the Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees. However, in the following years, plans for a new stadium in Brooklyn were continuously rejected and many cities in western United States were seeking a professional sports team. In 1958, owner Walter O’Malley announced the relocation of the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

Playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the initial seasons and later moving to brand new Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers won three titles in a ten year span: 1959, 1963 and 1965. Led by legends such as Sandy Koufax, Duke Snider and Don Drysdale, the franchise established itself as a fan favorite amongst Los Angeles residents.

Tommy Lasorda, former manager, is best known for his two decades managing the Los Angeles Dodgers, achieving World Series wins in 1981 and 1988. Known for his rough and passionate coaching style, he once stated how, “‘Pressure’ is a word that is misused in our vocabulary. When you start thinking of pressure, it’s because you’ve started to think of failure.”

In recent years, the Dodgers have been serious championship contenders, reaching the Major League Baseball Postseason every year since 2013, playing the World Series in 2017 and 2018 and winning the title in 2020. Players such as future hall of famer Clayton Kershaw, third base Justin Turner, 2019 N.L MVP Cody Bellinger, and the newly acquired Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox have become the faces of the Dodgers franchise, as the Dodgers have won it all for the first time in 32 years.