Los Angeles Dodgers
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Los Angeles Dodgers
With a history that dates back to 1884 and spans the country from coast to coast, the Los Angeles Dodgers lay claim to one of the most impressive legacies in all of professional baseball. From 1890 to 1990, the club won the National League pennant a staggering 21 times and appeared in a World Series in all but two of the decades during that run. The commitment to excellence even extends beyond the playing field. Two members of the organization, announcer Vin Scully and former manager Tommy Lasorda, have been with the franchise since the 1950s, when the team still called Brooklyn home. The diminutive skipper has long insisted that he "bleeds Dodger blue," and considering the rich history of the franchise, he probably isn't the only one.
While the franchise would make a few appearances in the postseason in the 1910s and '20s, it wasn't until 1941 that the team really began to make waves. After winning the National League pennant that year, the Dodgers started to become one of the most talked-about teams in the nation. Although it was partly due to an impressive showing against the New York Yankees in the 1947 World Series, the play of second baseman Jackie Robinson garnered the most attention.
The first African-American to play in the major leagues, Robinson emerged almost immediately as one of the best to ever take the field. He was the first-ever Major League Rookie of the Year in 1947, and two seasons later was named NL MVP. Over the course of his decade with the franchise, the Dodgers would win six National League pennants and one world championship. Robinson's impact on the game would continue to be felt long after he departed. In 1997, every team in the league agreed to retire Robinson's #42 to honor all that he did for the sport.
Following the 1957 season, the Dodgers announced they would be moving to Los Angeles, and in doing so fostered a new era of championship success. Powered by the pitching prowess of left-hander Sandy Koufax, the team captured World Series titles in 1959, '63, and '65. The '60s also marked the beginning of the legendary Dodger Stadium, where the team still plays. Arguably even more renowned than the hallowed coliseum is the famous Dodger Dog, a ten-inch frankfurter that has been consumed by millions of hungry fans over since its introduction in 1962.
Victorious Fall Classic campaigns would take place in 1981 and '88 to cement the Dodgers' status as one of the most venerated franchises in baseball. Through it all, fans continue to gather at Phillipe's before games to tailgate and discuss what's next for their beloved team. They talk excitedly about the exploits of all those who have worn the classic blue and white, and get even more animated when thinking about the future. Put simply, Dodgers fans like their chances every year. With such a storied history already, the optimism is not only understandable -- it's earned.