Fans will have the opportunity to vote for their three favorite Dodger pitchers in the poll. The list of 11 pitchers on the ballot includes four Cy Young Award winners, and two Rookie of the Year winners, and seven World Series championship winners.
The pitcher candidates feature the following:
Don Drysdale, one of the fiercest competitors in the game of baseball, pitched 14 seasons (1956-69) for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, ranking second in franchise annals with 209 wins, 518 games, 2,486 strikeouts, 3,432.1 innings pitched, and 49 shutouts. Big D won the Major League Cy Young Award in 1962, when he led the Majors with 25 wins, 232 strikeouts, 314.1 innings and 41 starts. A nine-time All-Star and five-time All-Star Game starter, Drysdale won three World Series championships (1959, 1963, 1965) and two other National League pennants (1956 and 1966). In 1968, he tossed a then-Major League record 58.2 consecutive scoreless innings, including a record six straight shutouts. Drysdale, whose No. 53 is retired by the Dodgers, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984.
Orel Hershiser, whom manager Tommy Lasorda dubbed "Bulldog," may best be remembered for his 1988 season, when he won the National League Cy Young Award and helped his Dodgers to the World Series championship, going 23-8 with eight shutouts and a 2.26 ERA. That same year, Hershiser spun 59.0 consecutive scoreless innings to break Don Drysdale's Major League record of 58.2 innings. The right-hander burst onto the scene in 1984, when he went 11-8 with eight complete games and a 2.66 ERA to finish third in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting. He followed that up with a solid sophomore season in 1985, going 19-3 with a 2.03 ERA. Hershiser was an NL All-Star from 1987-89, getting the start against the American League in both of the first two years. He finished in the Top 3 in ERA in the NL five times (1984-85, 1987-89), and led the NL in innings pitched three years in a row from 1987-89. Hershiser left the Dodgers as a free agent following the 1995 season, but returned to the club in 2000 to close out his career.
Burt Hooton pitched nine-plus seasons with the Dodgers from 1975-84, and was the winning pitcher of Game 6 of the 1981 World Series that clinched the championship for the Dodgers over the New York Yankees. The right-hander came over to the Dodgers in a trade with the Chicago Cubs early in the 1975 season, and went on to post an 18-7 record, 12 complete games, and a 2.82 ERA in 31 games the rest of the way. His finest season came in 1978, when he went 19-10 with a 2.71 ERA and finished second in the National League Cy Young Award voting. He was an All-Star in 1981, and pitched in the World Series in 1977, 1978 and 1981.
Tommy John pitched in the Major Leagues for 26 years, including six seasons with the Dodgers from 1972-78. He came over to Los Angeles from the Chicago White Sox in 1972 in exchange for Dick Allen, and went on to earn 87 of his 288 career victories in Dodger Blue. John went a combined 27-12 during his first two years in L.A. and was 13-3 halfway through the 1974 season when he suffered what was thought to be a career-ending elbow injury. Drysdale, however, convinced the Dodgers' team doctor, Frank Jobe, to try an experimental operation on him. He spent the entire 1975 season rehabilitating his arm, and in 1976, went 10-10 with a 3.09 ERA to win the National League comeback player of the year award. In 1977, John shocked the baseball world, going 20-7 and helping the Dodgers win the National League pennant. He went 17-10 the next year as the Dodgers would win another pennant. John left as a free-agent in 1979, but the surgery that now bears his name and his amazing comeback will never be forgotten.
Sandy Koufax, one of the most dominating pitchers in baseball history, won 165 games and compiled 2,396 strikeouts in 2,324.1 innings during his 12 seasons with the Dodgers from 1955-66. He won the Major League Cy Young Award in 1963, 1965, and 1966, and also earned National League Most Valuable Player honors in 1963. The Brooklyn native led the NL in ERA for five straight seasons from 1962-66, including three seasons with a sub-2.00 ERA. He pitched in four World Series, going a combined 3-1 with a 0.95 ERA in eight games while taking home the championship in 1959, 1963, and 1965. Koufax, a seven-time All-Star, was named World Series MVP in 1963 and 1965. The left-hander tossed four no-hitters during his career, including a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs on September 9, 1965. From 1965-66, his final two years in baseball, Koufax went 53-17 with 54 complete games and 1.89 ERA in 84 games. His No. 32 was retired by the Dodgers in 1972, and he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame that same year. Legendary manager Casey Stengel, who had watched every great pitcher in his 50-plus year career in baseball, said that Koufax was the greatest pitcher he had ever seen.
Ramon Martinez was perhaps the best Dodger pitcher during the 1990s, going 123-77 with a 3.45 ERA in 11 seasons in a Dodger uniform overall from 1988-98. Heralded as a "can't miss" prospect in the Dodger farm system in the late 1980's, the skinny young pitcher from the Dominican Republic finally came into his own in 1990 when he went 20-6 with 12 complete games and a 2.92 ERA. He earned National League All-Star honors that year, and finished second in the NL Cy Young Award voting. On June 5, 1990, he tied Sandy Koufax's club record with 18 strikeouts while pitching a three-hitter and beating the Atlanta Braves, 6-0. Martinez also tossed a no-hitter against the Florida Marlins on July 14, 1995. His last season in a Dodger uniform was in 1998, when he went 7-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 15 games before deciding to undergo rotator cuff surgery on his right shoulder.
Hideo Nomo won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1995 after signing with the Dodgers out of the Japanese Professional Baseball League. He went 13-6 with three shutouts and a 2.54 ERA that year, and was the starting pitcher for the NL All-Stars. The Dodgers, who never scouted him in person, took a chance and signed Nomo to a Minor League contract, and, coming off the player's strike, did not wait long to bring him up. On September 17, 1996, the right-hander pitched a no-hitter in the unlikeliest of places: Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. Nomo remains the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter at that high-elevation venue. After three-plus seasons in Los Angeles, Nomo was traded to the New York Mets during the 1998 season. He returned to L.A., however, in 2002, and posted back-to-back 16-win seasons. In six-plus seasons in a Dodger uniform overall, Nomo went 81-59 in 191 games. Nomo's success opened the door to the many Japanese players who have successfully followed him to the Major Leagues.
Claude Osteen arrived in Los Angeles prior to the 1965 season after being acquired for Frank Howard, and the left-hander went on to win 15 games that year and help the Dodgers claim the National League pennant. With the Dodgers down two games to none to the Minnesota Twins in the 1965 World Series, it was Osteen who got the start in Game 3 and shut out the Twins, 4-0, to help the Dodgers rebound to an eventual World Championship. During his nine seasons in a Dodger uniform, Osteen won 20 games in 1969 and in 1972. He was an NL All-Star in 1967, 1970, and 1973. Osteen won 147 games during his nine seasons with Los Angeles, an average of 16.3 victories a season.
Johnny Podres will always be known as the baby-faced kid who defeated the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1955 World Series, giving the Brooklyn Dodgers their only World Championship. Podres did, however, pitch eight-plus seasons in Los Angeles as well, helping them win two more World Series titles (1959 and 1963). Podres best season in Los Angeles came in 1961, the Dodgers' last year playing at the Los Angeles Coliseum, when he won a career-high 18 games. In 1963, Podres pitched Game 2 of the World Series against the Yankees, defeating them 4-1 and helping the Dodgers sweep New York in the Fall Classic. The left-hander was selected to four All-Star Games, all in a Dodger uniform, and he got the start in the second of two 1960 Mid-Summer Classics. Podres also led the NL in 1957 with six shutouts.
Don Sutton spent 16 of his 23 Major League seasons with the Dodgers, and is atop the franchise's all-time leader board with 233 wins, 550 games, 3,814.0 innings, 2,696 strikeouts, and 52 shutouts. Sutton was a 20-game winner just once in his career, going 21-10 for the Dodgers in 1976, but he did win in double digits for Los Angeles in 15 of his 16 seasons with the team. He would also average close to 230 innings pitched per season while with the Dodgers. He also tossed 156 complete games in a Dodger uniform. Sutton was a member of five pennant-winning Dodger teams in 1966, 1974, 1977, 1978, and 1988. He was a four-time All-Star for the Dodgers, and he pitched in three World Series in Dodger Blue (1974, 1977, 1978). Sutton also led the National League with a 2.20 ERA in 1980, and he had an NL-best nine shutouts in 1972. His No 20 was retired by the Dodgers in August 1998, just one month after he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Fernando Valenzuela exploded onto the scene with his rookie campaign in 1981, becoming the first pitcher to win the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Awards in the same season. He also started for the National League in the All-Star Game that year. Fernandomania swept the country during that strike-shortened season of 1981, as the 20-year-old from Sonora, Mexico, went 13-7 with eight shutouts and 11 complete games to help the Dodgers to a World Series championship. Valenzuela spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the Dodgers, earning All-Star honors for six years in a row from 1981-86. His best year came in 1986, when he went 21-11 with 20 complete games and a 3.14 ERA. The left-hander would suffer from arm injuries during his last four seasons with the Dodgers, but he did win 13 games in 1990, his last year in Los Angeles. That final season was highlighted by a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 29, just hours after Oakland's Dave Stewart had thrown one against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Dodger fans have the opportunity to vote for the "All-Time L.A. Team" at dodgers.com/anniversary, with the results being unveiled later this year. The 2008 season marks the 50th anniversary of the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles.
The club will celebrate this golden anniversary with fans around the world through a series of historical, cultural and promotional events that are unique to Los Angeles and honor the legacy of the franchise and its players and the loyalty of Dodger fans.
Poll to Determine LA's All-Time Pitchers
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