1845-1882: Brooklyn plays a crucial role in the development of the National Pastime. Brooklyn was the home of the greatest armature team, the Brooklyn Atlantics. They were even the first to defeat the Professional Cincinnati Red stockings in 1870 despite having several players raided off their roster for the original Cincinnati professional team.
1857: Brooklyn Sports Writer Henry Chadwick working for the “New York Clipper,” a paper devoted to sports and the theater, grew so disgusted with the method of scoring a baseball game he designed a new system. Chadwick assigned numbers to the nine positions, and this helped develop an easily understood box score. This except for a few minor differences in the same box score we use today.
1890: The Brooklyn Bridegrooms (a moniker attached because several of their players had recently gotten married) joined the National League leaving the fledgling American Association. Brooklyn was able to keep most of its players, which helped them in an NL weakened by players departing, and established clubs for the outlaw Player’s League. The Bridegrooms were able to win the pennant in their first national league season with an 86-43 record. A postseason series was played against the Louisville club, who were the pennant winners from the American Association. However, the series, which was hampered by poor weather and long travel, ended in a tie.
1891: As the stars returned to the National League and the Bridegrooms lost a few key players, the team slumps to sixth place in its second season with a 61-76 record.
1892: In a split season, the Bridegrooms battle for the NL Pennant in both halves but end up falling short with a 95-59 overall record.
1893: The Bridegrooms play mediocre baseball all season as they finish in 6th place with a record of 65-63.
1894: The Bridegrooms don’t fare much better, finishing 20 games out of first again while finishing in 5th place with a record of 70-61.
1895: In almost a carbon copy o they year before, the Bridegrooms finish in 5th place with a record of 71-60.
1896: The Bridegrooms suffer their first losing season in four years while sliding to 8th place with a disappointing record of 58-73.
1897: The Bridegrooms’ struggles continue as they finish in 6th place with a record of 61-71.
1898: On New Year’s Day, the city of Brooklyn becomes a borough, and New York City is born. Many Brooklynites still see themselves as residents of a city of its own, and later their baseball will become the source of pride for the residents of Brooklyn. Many Brooklynites would see two things as belonging solely to them, and that was the Brooklyn Bridge, and their NL baseball team later called the Dodgers. Still called the Bridegrooms in 1898, the team would struggle again, finishing in tenth place with a horrid record of 54-91.
1899: Longtime Brooklyn President Charles Byrne had died, and the owners of the Baltimore Orioles of the NL Harry Von der Horst and Ned Hanlon seeing an opportunity to move into a more lucrative market, purchased a half-interest in the Bridegrooms. Hanlon retained his Baltimore presidency but took over as manager in Brooklyn, bringing along with him the core of his Oriole club – shortstop Hughie Jennings and outfielders Joe Kelley and Willie Keeler plus its two best pitchers, Jim Hughes, and Doc McJames. The infusion of new talent worked wonders, as Brooklyn (with a new nickname, the Superbas) took the NL lead in late May, during a 22-game winning streak, and held it the rest of the way to win their 2nd pennant with a 101-47 record.
1900: The Superbas win their second consecutive pennant, capturing the first National League title of the 20th Century by 4.5 games with an 82-54 record.
1901: The newly formed American League begins raiding the Superbas, of talent, and the team falls to third place with a 79-57 record.
1902: Despite finishing a distant 27 and a half games out of first, the Superbas land in second place with a decent record of 75-63.
1903: The Superbas slide down into fifth place, posting a record of 70-66.
1904: The Superbas struggle all season, narrowly avoiding 100 losses while finishing in sixth place with a record of 65-97.
1905: In Ned Hanlon’s final season as manager, the depleted Superbas hit rock bottom finishing dead last with a franchise-worst 48-104 record, and placing 56 and a half games out of first.
1906: Under new Manager Patsy Donovan, the Superbas struggles continue as they finish in fifth place with a record of 66-86.
1907: Despite finishing in fourth place the Superbas post their 4th straight losing season finishing with a record of 65-83.
1908: Manager Patsy Donovan is let go after three unsuccessful seasons culminating with a seventh-place 53-101 season in 1908.
1909: Under Manager Harry Lumley, the Superbas don’t fare any better, finishing in 6th place with a horrible 55-98 record.
1910: The Superbas change managers again, bringing in Bill Dahlen, but their struggle continue as they finish in 6th place with a record of 64-90.
1911: The team changes its name to the name Trolley Dodgers named after the citizens of Brooklyn who had to duck and dodge the many Trolleys that crisscrossed the Borough of Brooklyn at the time. The new nickname would not bring much new luck as the team still struggled to finish seventh with a 64-76 record.
1912: The Trolley Dodgers struggle again, posting their ninth straight losing season finishing in seventh place with a record of 58-95.
1913: With the name of the team shortened to Dodgers, a new era begins for Brooklyn Baseball on April 9th as Ebbets Field opens with a game against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Dodgers would only manage a sixth Place 65-84 season, but 1B Jake Daubert, won the Chalmers Award, a precursor to the MVP with a .350 batting average.
1914: The team undergoes another name change becoming the Robins in honor of new Manager Wilbert Robinson, who is called Uncle Wilbert by the press. In his first season, the Robins make a run for .500 finishing in fifth place with a 75-79 record.
1915: The Robins end a long string of losing season with a solid third-place 80-72 record that would leave them just ten games short of the NL Pennant.
1916: The Brooklyn Robins win their first NL Pennant in 16 years with a 94-60 record and earn a trip to their first-ever World Series. After dropping Game 1 to the Boston Red Sox at home, the Robins would score in the first inning of Game 2, and would not manage to not score again in the 14 inning pitching duel. The Robins just could not figure out how to hit a young 21-year old pitcher by the name of Babe Ruth, who pitched the entire 14 innings to give the Red Sox a 2-0 series lead. The Robins would bounce back to take Game 3 in Boston, but the Red Sox would take the next two and the series 4 games to 1.
1917: In a season played against the uncertain backdrop of World War I, the Robins fall from the top of the NL to seventh place with a 70-81 record.
1918: The Robins struggled again, finishing in fifth place with a record of 57-69.
1919: The Robins scuffle through another mediocre season, finishing in fifth place with a record of 69-71.
1920: In a tight three-way Pennant Race all season long, the Robins win 16 of their final 18 games to pull away and earn a trip to their second World Series with a 93-61 record. In the World Series, the Robins would face the Cleveland Indians. However, the Robins could not keep taking the momentum into the World Series. Through the first four gamers of the best of nine series, the Robins and Indians were stalemated at two games apiece. In the fifth game, Dodger pitcher Clarence Mitchell lined a shot to Cleveland’s Billy Wambsganss with Pete Kilduff on second base and Otto Miller on first. Wambsganss speared the liner to the right of the bag, stepped on the base to double up Kilduff, and tagged Miller, who was running with the shot and was nearly at second base on the play turning an unassisted triple play. The Robins would lose that game 8-1, as well as the next two as the Indians claimed their first World Championship.
1921: Despite another 22-win season from pitcher Burleigh Grimes, the Robins can only manage a fifth Place season with a disappointing 77-75 record.
1922: The Robins struggle all season finishing in sixth place with a record of 76-78.
1923: In a carbon copy of the year before, the Robins finish in sixth place again with an identical 76-78 record.
1924: The year began slowly for the Robins, who trailed the New York Giants by 12 games for the NL Pennant. However, the Robins led by pitcher Dazzy Vance made a furious charge, taking first place in September, before falling a game and half short with a 92-62 record.
1925: The Robins are hit with tragedy twice, first Brooklyn president Charles Ebbets, at the age of 66, was taken ill after returning from Clearwater, FL, in the spring and died on the morning of April 18th in New York. The Robins were playing the Giants at Ebbets Field that day to begin a three-game series. The games went on as scheduled, as Manager Wilbert Robinson said, “Charley wouldn’t want anybody to miss a Giant-Brooklyn series just because he died, now acting president Ed McKeever was in charge. The day of Ebbets’ funeral was cold and windy. McKeever caught a cold at the gravesite that very day. He was stricken with pneumonia, and within a week, he, too, was dead. The Robins would finish the season in sixth place with a 68-85 record.
1926: The Robins would struggle again, finishing in sixth place with a record of 71-82.
1927: The Robins finish in sixth place for the third straight season posting a terrible 65-88 record.
1928: Despite finishing a game over .500 with a record of 77-76, the Robins finish in 6th place for the fourth year in a row.
1929: The Robins nest in sixth place for the fifth consecutive season, posting a record of 70-83 along the way.
1930: The Robins got off to a flying start, spending 75 days from mid-May to mid-August in 1st place. The Robins would go into a rapid decline falling out of the top spot. The Dodgers would retake the lead for a day in mid-September, but after losing a critical three-game series to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Robins were finished. They would go on the way to fall to fourth place finishing six games out with an 86-68 record.
1931: After 18 years at the helm Wilbert Robinson, the winningest manager in Brooklyn’s history with 1,375 victories, retires following a fourth-place 79-73 season. It also ended an era in which the team was known as the Robins.
1932: With the arrival of new manager Max Carey, the team’s name reverts back to Dodgers. Under Carey, the Dodgers would have a solid season finishing in third place with a record of 81-73, finishing within nine games of first place.
1933: After a disappointing sixth Place 65-88 season Manager Max Carey is fired, and replaced by Casey Stengel.
1934: In Casey Stengel’s first season as manager, the Dodgers finish in sixth place with a 71-81 record.
1935: The Dodgers continue to struggle as they post their third straight losing season on the way to finishing in fifth place with a record of 70-83.
1936: Casey Stengel’s three-year reign, a manager comes to an end with a seventh Place 67-87 season. In Stengel’s three years at the helm, the Dodgers lost 80 or more games and finished in the second division every season.
1937: Legendary Dodgers Pitcher Burleigh Grimes is brought in to manage as the team’s struggles continue during a 62-91, sixth place season.
1938: In a marketing gimmick to get the Dodgers more fans in the seats. Larry MacPhail hires Babe Ruth to be the club’s 1B Coach. The Babe would quit after one season; it would be Babe Ruth’s first and only coaching job in Major League Baseball. In another move by MacPhail, the Dodgers install lights at Ebbets Field. The first night game in Brooklyn would be a memorable one as the Dodgers are no-hit by Cincinnati Reds Pitcher Johnny Vander Meer. The No-Hitter is Vander Meer’s second in a week. The Dodgers would go on to finish the season in seventh place with a 69-80 record.
1939: The Dodgers make more changes in management hiring Leo Durocher to run the club from the dugout. That year the Dodgers become the first team from New York to permit radio broadcast of their games to be heard throughout the metropolitan area, which would lead to the Brooklyn debut of Hall of Fame announcer Red Barber. The Dodgers would make further history on August 26th when Red Barber’s call from “the catbird seat,” came with pictures in the first televised Major League game ever. The Dodgers would go on to finish the season of transformations and first with an improved 84-69 record good enough for third place.
1940: The Dodgers would show continued improvement finishing in 2nd place with a solid 88-65 record.
1941: Led by NL MVP Dolf Camilli, the Dodgers win their first National League pennant in 21 years with a 100-54 record to edge out the St. Louis Cardinals by two and a half games. In the World Series, the Dodgers would face the crosstown New York Yankees in the first of seven classic Subway Series confrontations. Poised to even the series at two games apiece in Game 4, the Dodgers led 4-3 and had two outs with nobody on in the ninth inning, pitcher Hugh Casey than goes on to throw strike three past Yankees OF Tommy Henrich. However, the ball went past Catcher Mickey Owen too, and Henrich reached base. The Yanks would go on from there to score four runs in the inning to win the game and go up 3-1 in the series. The Yanks would go on to finish the Dodgers off the next day with a 3-1 win in Game 5.
1942: The Dodgers win four more games then the pennant-winning club of the previous year but fall two games short of a return trip to the World Series, with a record of 104-50, after a classic Pennant Race with the St. Louis Cardinals.
1943: As several star players depart for Military Duty in World War II, the Dodgers fall to third place with an 81-72 record.
1944: The war-depleted Dodgers continue to struggle, as many of their best players are off fighting in Europe, and Japan, and finish with a seventh Place 63-91 record.
1945: With new President Branch Rickey now running the Dodgers, it is known he intends to break baseball’s color barrier and bring black players into the Major Leagues. After a search throughout the Negro Leagues, Rickey decides to sign Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs on October 23rd. Jackie, however, was given an even greater task by Rickey, as he was told to make integration successful that no matter how much abuse he took that he could not fight back. While Rickey was searching around to sign Robinson, the Dodgers put together a solid 87-67 season, as many stars begin to return from War Duty.
1946: Jackie Robinson, now the property of the Brooklyn Dodgers, plays for the team’s top minor league affiliate, the Montreal Royals. Meanwhile, the Dodgers put together a big season going 96-60 and finishing tied for first place with the St. Louis Cardinals. The two teams played the first-ever playoff series, but it was not a happy one for the Dodgers, as the Cardinals won two straight games for the pennant and earned a trip to the World Series.
1947: On April 15th Opening Day at Ebbets Field, the Dodgers took the field with Jackie Robinson playing first base. Jackie became the first back player in the Major Leagues since Fleet and Welday Walker played for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the defunct American Association in 1884. It was not easy, Jackie Robison, as he would face racism and death threats at almost every turn. Robinson would overcome the racism and intolerance to bat .297, score 125 runs and steal 29 bases en route to being the first-ever Rookie of the Year. The Dodgers would not need an NL tiebreaker, as they would win 94 games en-route to their 4th trip to the World Series, to land in a second Subway Series matchup against the New York Yankees. The Dodgers were faced with falling into a 3-1 deficit in Game 4, as they were being no-hit by Bill Bevens with two outs in the 9th inning. However, Bevens was wild that day walking eight until Cookie Lavagetto doubled home the tying and winning runs with two outs in the 9th to give the Dodgers their only hit and a 2-2 series tie. After the Yankees won Game 5, the Dodgers would come back to win Game 6, highlighted by Al Gionfriddo’s catch that robbed Joe DiMaggio 415 foot drive. However, in Game 7, the Dodgers would go down in a defeat 5-2, as Brooklyn fans were forced to say, “Wait ‘Till Next Year” once again.
1948: Leo Durocher would return to the helm as manager after a one-year suspension for associating with known gamblers. Durocher would be fired midway through the season, and eventually replaced by the man who led the Dodgers most of the 1947 pennant-winning season Burt Shotten. The Dodgers would go on to finish the season in 3rd place with an 84- 70 record.
1949: The Dodgers battle back and forth with the St. Louis Cardinals throughout the season for the NL Pennant, before edging them out by one game on the final day of the season with a 97-57 record. Jackie Robinson, in his finest season, led the NL in hitting and stolen bases and finished among the leaders in many other offensive categories winning the NL MVP award. Again the World Series was a matchup against the New York Yankees. Through the first eight innings of Game 1, Dodgers Rookie of the Year Pitcher Don Newcombe, and Yankees ace Allie Reynolds battled through a scoreless tie. Reynolds would retire the Dodgers in order in the 9th, but Newcombe was not as fortunate surrendering a leadoff homer to Tommy Henrich. The Dodgers bounced back to win Game 2, as the series shifted to Brooklyn. The Yankees would score twice in the top of the 9th to pull out a 3-1 win in Game 3. The Yankees would go on to win the next two games easily to take the series.
1950: After falling behind early, the Dodgers nearly catch the staggering Philadelphia Phillies for the NL Pennant, losing out in the tenth inning of the final game, to fall two games short with an 89-65 record. Following the season, President Branch Rickey leaves the club for a similar post with the Pittsburgh Pirates in Brooklyn Walter O’Malley replaces him.
1951: The Dodgers lead the NL for most of the season, including holding a 13 game gap over the Hated New York Giants in August. The Dodgers would only play .500 ball the final six weeks while the Giants would get hot and ended the season with a 96-58 record, tied with Dodgers forcing a classic 3-game playoff. The Giants and Dodgers split the first two games setting up a classic Game 3 on October 3rd. The Dodgers were leading that game by two runs entering the last of the 9th inning when Ralph Branca was brought in to face Bobby Thomson with two on and one out. Thomson would then go on to hit “The Shot Heard around the World, breaking hearts all over Brooklyn, as the Giants won the pennant.
1952: The Dodgers rebound nicely to win the NL Pennant by four games over the Giants with a 96-57 record. In the World Series, the Dodgers were matched up against the New York Yankees again. After the two teams split the first four games, the Dodgers took Game 5 in Extra Innings and went to Brooklyn poised to win the first World Championship. The Dodgers held a brief led in Game 6, but the Yankees rallied to take the Game 3-2 and force a decisive seventh game. In Game 7, the Yankees would emerge victorious, as Brooklyn fans were forced to say, “wait ’til next year’, again.
1953: The Dodgers repeated as NL Champions posting a 105-49 record, for their best season ever. Dodger bats overwhelmed the league, hitting 19 points and slugging 63 points above the league average, as the team outscored its nearest rival by more than a run per game. In the World Series, the Dodgers faced the Yankees again. The two teams split the first four games, as had been the usual pattern. After the Yanks took Game 6, the Dodgers were facing elimination in the ninth inning of Game 6 trailing 3-1. However, the Dodgers would not quit as Carl Furillo knotted the game with a two-run HR, but the Yanks would not be denied and would win the game in the bottom of the 9th with a Billy Martin single.
1954: After Chuck Dressen demanded a two-year deal, he is let go and replaced by Walter Alston, who would go on to manage the franchise for the next 23 years. In Alston’s first season at the helm, the Dodgers finish five games behind the New York Giants with a 92-62 record.
1955: The Dodgers take the lead in the NL from the start of the season, and were never challenged as they walked away to win the pennant by 13 and a half games with a 98-55 record. Catcher Roy Campanella wins his 3rd MVP award, while OF Duke Snider has one of his most productive seasons. On the mound, Don Newcombe, with a 20-5 record, paces the league’s best pitching staff. The Dodgers would face the New York Yankee in the World Series for the 6th time in 15 years. The Dodgers would lose the first two games in Yankee Stadiums, giving fans that sickening feeling of deja vu. However, Johnny Podres, with a Complete Game in Game 3, would get the Dodgers on the board. The Dodgers would win the next two games to return to the Bronx up 3-games-to-2. However, after the Yankees used a five-run 1st inning to force Game 7, some fans used to heartbreak began their familiar refrain “wait ’till next year.” Game 7 was to be started by Johnny Podres, who already shut down the Yankees once in the series. While the Dodgers grabbed a 2-0 lead, the Yankees had men on base all day, but Podres kept them off the board. In the sixth inning, Yogi Berra sent a screaming line drive down the leftfield line that seemed destined to break Dodgers’ hearts, but Sandy Amoros made a brilliant catch running toward the line, and was able to double Gil Mc Dougal off at first. That ended up being the last Yankee threat. Podres kept the score where it was at, and the Dodgers would win their first World Series. There was no more wait ’til next year, 1955 was next year!!!
1956: In an exciting three-way fight, the Dodgers repeated as NL pennant-winners, taking their final three games to edge out the Milwaukee Braves with a 93-61 record. Don Newcombe en-route to winning the NL MVP, and the first-ever Cy Young award clinched the flag on the final day with his 27th win. In the World Series, the opponent was the New York Yankees for the 7th time in 16 years. The series got off to a promising start as the Dodgers scored 13 runs in Game 2 to go 2-0. The Dodgers would only score six runs in the final five games, getting shut out twice, including Don Larsen’s Game 5, Perfect Game. Brooklyn would wind up having to wait ’til next year again, as the Yankees ruled New York and baseball once again. Little did anyone know at that time this would be the last Subway Series for 44 years. Following the season, the Dodgers would trade Jackie Robinson to the rival New York Giants, however staying true to the Dodger blue, Robinson would choose retirement.
1957: For a few years now, President Walter O’Malley was pleading to the city to build him a new ballpark in Brooklyn. A plan opposed by City Planner Robert Moses, whom it was said nothing was created without Moses, support, or permission. O’Malley began to threaten to move the club out of the city, but New York Mayor Robert Wagner and most of the city’s officials did not take these threats seriously. The city of Los Angeles began courting the Dodgers hard, with the promise to build a ballpark in Chavez Ravine. When the news came out, Mayor Wagner and Moses made a feeble effort to save the Dodgers, offering to build a ballpark on the World’s Fair Grounds in Queens. Wagner was already on shaky ground, as the Giants were getting ready to move out of the crumbling Polo Grounds. O’Malley was only interested in his park under his conditions as the plans for a new stadium in Brooklyn seemed like a pipe dream. Walter O’Malley was left with the heart-wrenching decision to move the Dodgers to California, convincing Giants owner Horace Stoneham to move to San Francisco instead of Minneapolis to keep the Giants-Dodgers rivalry alive on the West Coast. There was no turning back the Dodgers were heading for Hollywood. The Dodgers would play their last game in Ebbets Field on September 24th, and finish in third place with an 84-70 record. Brooklyn was used to heartbreaks, but it would never quite get over this because, in years past, there was always next year. Now there would no longer be a next year. The Dodgers were to Brooklyn like the Packers are to Green Bay. Brooklyn had lost its central identity, and the borough has never recovered. Walter O’Malley would be viewed as the villain for years, but a documentary nearly 50 years later, would all but clear his name and expose Robert Moses as the real culprit for the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn.
1958: Already heartbroken by the Dodgers move to Los Angels. Dodgers fans are hit hard once again, when one of their “Boys of Summer,” Roy Campanella is paralyzed in a January car crash on the icy streets of New York.
1959-2009: Eventually, the National League would have a New York presence again starting in 1962 with the birth of the New York Mets. They would eventually play at the Queens Stadium Walter O’Malley rejected. Brooklyn would not see any form of professional baseball until 2001, when the short-season Single-A team known as the Brooklyn Cyclones, affiliated with the Mets, began to play at a stadium in Coney Island. The Mets would later pay tribute to the Brooklyn Dodgers, when they designed the front of their new stadium Citi Field to look like Ebbets Field famous rotunda, naming it in honor of Jackie Robinson.
Surprisingly enough the MLB has gotten into the wine business over the last few years. About twenty teams, including the Dodgers, have partnered with winemaker to create a club series collection of wines. Wine-loving Dodgers fans may want to add a California Cabernet Sauvignon or a Central Coast Chardonnay with the Dodgers label to their wine rack or wine cellar.
©MMXX Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, statistics, logos, and team names are property of Major League Baseball. This site is not affiliated with the Brooklyn Dodgers or Major League Baseball. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on March 12, 2001. Last updated on May 15, 2020, at 9:10 am ET.