Hiroki Kuroda Wins Old Slugger Title

Rookie Hiroki Kuroda won his first "Old Slugger Award" in 2008, dethrowning two-time winner Brad Penny who failed to meet the minimum 30 times at bat to claim the crown. Kuroda, in his first season since arriving from Japan, hit .148 (8-for-54) the lowest total for a winner since Ismael Valdez won with a .143 in 1996.

Penny was the 11th Los Angeles pitcher to earn multiple titles. His .279 in 12007 was the highest batting average for a Dodger pitcher since Orel Hershiser set the record of .356 in 1993.

Hershiser, Rick Rhoden (.308, 1975), Drysdale (.300, 1965) and Jerry Reuss (.292, 1983) are the top five. The rest of the top 10 include Doyle Alexander (.273, 1971), Claude Osteen (.273 1971), Ramon Martinez (.273, 1994), Tim Leary (.269, 1988) and Hershiser (.258, 1991).
The Old Slugger Award, presented by Dodgers Dugout and LADugout.com, to the Dodger pitcher with the highest batting average, is named after the Game of the Week announcing crew of Dizzy Dean and Pee Wee Reese form the 1960s, during which Dean would announce "And here comes the o-o-o-l-d slugger" each time a pitcher came to the plate.

An appropriately large trophy (5 1/2" tall) is awarded each spring to the recipient.

2008 Old Sluggers
	                ab  r  h   ave bi
Hiroki Kuroda	        54  8  8  .148  2
Derek Lowe	        65  4  9  .185  3
Chad Billingsley	63  1  6  .095  4

  Non-qualifiers     	ab  r  h   ave bi
Esteban Loaiza	         6  1  2  .333  0
Hong-chih Kuo	        12  1  3  .250  0
Brad Penny	        26  2  5  .192  0
Eric Stults	        15  3  2  .133  2
Chan Ho Park	         9  0  1  .111  0
Greg Maddux	        13  0  1  .077  0
Clayton Kershaw	        29  1  2  .069  0
Jason Johnson	         7  0  0  .000  0
Jonathan Broxton	 2  0  0  .000  1
Scott Elbert	         1  0  0  .000  0
Brian Falkenborg	 1  0  0  .000  0
Takashi Saito	         1  0  0  .000  0
Cory Wade	         0  0  0  .000  1	

  2B hits- Kuo. SF- Stults. Sacrifices- Kershaw 9, 
Kuroda & Penny 6, Billingsley 5, Loaiza 3, Kuo 2, 
Johnson 1. BB- Kuroda 5, Billingsley 4, Lowe 3, 
Stults 2, Broxton & Wade 1 each.
Old Slugger Leader
Claude Osteen, a clutch pitcher who has been overlooked in the glow of the Koufax-Drysdale mystique, holds the record with five Old Slugger awards, four of them in succession (1967-70).

Other sluggers who won multiple crowns include: Hershiser and Osteen (5), Fernando Valenzuela (4), Don Drysdale and Ramon Martinez (3) and double winners Johnny Podres, Rick Rhoden, Jerry Reuss and Darren Dreifort, Jeff Weaver and Penny.

Bill "Brickyard" Kennedy leads the Dodgers career hit list with 294 hits and Burleigh Grimes is second with 227. Don Drysdale is the Los Angeles leader with 204 - plus 14 more while with Brooklyn.

Drysdale had a remarkable season in 1965, setting Los Angeles records with 39 hits, as well as times at bat (130), runs (18), homers (7 — a total he also reached in 1958 to tie him for the franchise record with Don Newcombe) and runs batted in (19). With all that hitting he still had time to record a 23-12 won-lost mark with a 2.72 earned run average and seven shutouts.

Previous Los Angeles "Old Sluggers"
  (Minimum 30 at bats)
Year               	        ab- h  ave
2008 - Hiroki Kuroda	        54- 8  .148
2007 - Brad Penny	        66-16  .279
2006 - Brad Penny 	        65-12  .185
2005 - Jeff Weaver	        70-16  .229
2004 - Jeff Weaver	        70-15  .214
2003 - Wilson Alvarez	        29- 5  .172
2002 - Odalis Perez	        64-10  .156
2001 - Luke Prokopec	        36- 7  .194
2000 - Chan Ho Park	        70-15  .214
1999 - Darren Dreifort	        62-13  .213
1998 - Darren Dreifort	        49-11  .224
1997 - Ramon Martinez	        42- 8  .190
1996 - Ismael Valdes	        70-10  .143
1995 - Ramon Martinez	        64-11  .172
1994 - Ramon Martinez	        66-18  .273
1993 - Orel Hershiser	        73-26  .356
1992 - Orel Hershiser	        68-15  .221
1991 - Orel Hershiser	        31- 8  .258
1990 - Fernando Valenzuela	69-21  .304
1989 - Fernando Valenzuela	66-12  .182
1988 - Tim Leary	        67-18  .269
1987 - Rick Honeycutt	        30- 7  .233
1986 - Orel Hershiser	        71-17  .239
1985 - Fernando  Valenzuela     97-21  .216
1984 - Orel Hershiser	        50-10  .200
1983 - Jerry Reuss	        71-20  .282
1982 - Jerry Reuss 	        77-17  .221
1981 - Fernando Valenzuela	64-16  .250
1980 - Bob Welch	        70-17  .243
1979 - Rick Sutcliffe	        85-21  .247
1978 - Burt Hooton	        67-10  .149
1977 - Rick Rhoden	        78-18  .231
1976 - Rick Rhoden	        65-20  .308
1975 - Doug Rau	                87-17  .195
1974 - Andy Messersmith	        96-23  .240
1973 - Tommy John	        74-15  .203
1972 - Claude Osteen	        88-24  .273
1971 - Doyle Alexander	        33- 9  .273
1970 - Claude Osteen	        93-19  .204
1969 - Claude Osteen	       111-24  .216
1968 - Claude Osteen	        84-15  .179
1967 - Claude Osteen	       101-18  .178
1965 - Don Drysdale	       130-39  .300
1964 - Don Drysdale	       110-19  .173
1963 - Don Drysdale	        96-16  .167
1962 - Joe Moeller	        33- 7  .212
1961 - Johnny Podres	        69-16  .232
1960 - Larry Sherry	        37- 6  .162
1959 - Johnny Podres	        65-16  .246
1958 - Fred Kipp   	        36- 9  .250

  Los Angeles records:
Average - Orel Hershiser, 1993 	.356
At bats - Don Drysdale, 1965	 130
Runs - Don Drysdale, 1965	  18
Hits - Don Drysdale, 1965	  39
2b hits - Andy Messersmith, 1974   8
3b hits - Don Drysdale, 1960	   2
          Claude Osteen, 1966	   2
HR - Don Drysdale, 1958, 1965	   7
RBI - Don Drysdale, 1965 	  19

 Brooklyn records:
Average - Earl Yingling, 1913	.383
At bats - Bill Kennedy, 1894	 161
Runs - Ed Stein, 1894	          30
Hits - Bill Kennedy, 1894         49
Doubles - Don Newcombe, 1955	   9
Triples - Ed Stein, 1894	   4
Home runs- -Don Newcombe, 1955	   7
Runs batted in - Ed Stein, 1894	  30