Whether the team is located in Brooklyn or Los Angeles, the Dodgers are one of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) oldest and most storied franchises. The Dodgers and their loyal fans have seen some great athletes come through over the years, but who deserves to be called the best Dodgers players of all time? Today, the Dodgers are perennially one of the best teams in MLB and the team is routinely vying for a World Series championship.
Of course, these winning ways make Dodger fans very happy. And speaking of happy fans, a recent study suggests that fans are willing to travel and spend to watch their favorite teams play. A recent survey of 2,000 self-identified sports fanatics found that the average respondent would be willing to travel a staggering five hours and 48 minutes just to see their favorite team play. Furthermore, respondents also claim they’d be willing to spend an average of $762.20 for tickets to those games.
While we’re talking about baseball fans enjoying the game, researchers from Washington State University and Delft University of Technology have developed a new way to accurately measure home runs. The new method involves using lasers to accurately measure the way a baseball flies off the bat. This new laser-guided measuring system improves upon the old method that used wind tunnels to accurately predict the trajectory of a baseball coming off of the baseball bat. The laser-guided speed measurement is able to precisely measure changes in speed and then figure out acceleration, the force on a ball, and the ball’s lift and drag to more accurately measure the distance a home run travels.
So, who are some of the legends in Dodgers history? StudyFinds did the research, consulting 10 sports and baseball-oriented websites in an effort to bring you the consensus best Dodgers players of all time. Our list comprises five of the most listed athletes from across these sites. As always, feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
The List: Best Dodgers Players of All Time, According to Fans
1. Sandy Koufax (1955-1966)
Topping the list of the best Dodgers players of all time is none other than one of the most dominant pitchers in MLB history – Sandy Koufax. The Dodgers organization has seen some all-time great pitchers come and go, but that list starts and ends with Sandy Koufax. In less than 12 years in MLB, Koufax put together one of the best careers baseball fans and Dodger fans have ever seen.
Sandy Koufax and John Roseboro celebrate on the field after beating the Yankees in the 1963 World Series. pic.twitter.com/83Z3Su8Ym8
— Baseball In Pics (@baseballinpix) May 20, 2023
“One of three players ever to win three pitching Triple Crowns, Sandy Koufax stands narrowly above the rest in franchise history. The southpaw achieved the feat in 1963, 1965 and 1966, three of the final four seasons in his career. Severe arthritic pain caused Koufax to retire following the ’66 campaign… Koufax ended his career as a three-time Cy Young winner with two World Series MVPs and one league MVP. He led the National League in ERA five straight years to end his career, pitched four no-hitters and one perfect game. Koufax entered the Hall of Fame in 1972,” writes Bleacher Report.
Sandy Koufax’s career could have been much longer if he hadn’t been hurt. Koufax’s elbow was completely ruined by the time he was 30. “For three seasons, he won the Triple Crown for starting pitchers by leading the league with the most wins, strikeouts, and lowest earned run average (ERA). He also threw four no-hitters, one of which was a perfect game, and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972. Tragically, Koufax retired at age 30. He could have pitched longer if he had Tommy John surgery. Unfortunately, the medical procedure hadn’t been invented yet in 1966,” explains How They Play.
Koufax only pitched in MLB for 12 seasons, but he was utterly dominant during that time. Koufax amassed an impressive 165 wins with a staggering 137 complete games and a low 2.76 ERA. “Even though a left elbow injury limited him to just 12 seasons, Koufax is considered by most to be the greatest left-handed pitcher in MLB history. ‘The Left Arm of God’ was a seven-time All-Star, won five ERA titles, three pitching triple crowns, three National League Cy Young Awards, two World Series MVPs and the 1963 NL MVP. Perhaps more than anyone ever, Koufax’s name is synonymous with great pitching,” furthers Audacy.
2. Jackie Robinson (1947-1956)
Sliding into the second spot on the list of the best Dodgers players of all time is the legendary Jackie Robinson. This player is probably best known for breaking MLB’s color barrier in 1947, but it’s also important to note that Robinson won NL Rookie of the Year that season and he’s widely considered one of the best second basemen in MLB history. Robinson’s significance to the sport of baseball, the second base position, and the Dodgers organization cannot be overstated.
“Robinson didn’t break the color barrier until his age-28 season, but put together an 11-year career that saw him make seven All-Star teams, win a batting title, claim the 1947 National League Rookie of the Year Award and also be named the senior circuit’s MVP in 1949. One of the greatest second basemen in MLB history, Robinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962. His No. 42 is the only universally retired number in baseball,” explains Audacy.
Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and was never with the team in Los Angeles. Regardless, his name is synonymous with Dodger Blue. In all, Jackie Robinson hit for a .311 average, stole 197 bases, and amassed over 1,500 hits. “Despite the obstacles he faced, once Jackie debuted with the Dodgers in 1947, it became clear that he belonged. He won Rookie of the Year that season, finished fifth in the MVP voting, and led the league in stolen bases. Robinson won the MVP a few years later after batting .342 with 37 SBs and 124 RBI in 1949. He made his first of six consecutive MLB all-star games that season and led the league in stolen bases and batting average. Jackie was also an excellent fielder. He played before the Gold Glove award was created but undoubtedly would have won a few. He led NL second basemen in double plays four times and fielding % three times,” adds Pitcher List.
Jackie Robinson had perhaps the most significant impact on the sport of baseball and MLB as a whole of any player in history. “Robinson won Rookie of the Year honors in 1947, claimed the MVP in 1949 and made six consecutive All-Star teams from 1949 to 1954. His .342 batting average paced the National League during his MVP season. He also led the majors in on-base percentage (.440) in 1952 and twice stood atop the NL steals chart (1947, 1949). In 1962, the legend who broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier received a deserved spot in the Hall of Fame,” adds Bleacher Report.
3. Roy Campanella (1948-1957)
The third spot on the list of the best Dodger players of all time goes to one of the best catchers in MLB history – Roy Campanella. Campanella played in the Negro Leagues as well as the Mexican League before finally getting his chance in MLB, and the Hall of Famer never looked back.
I’m a Roy Campanella Guy™️ pic.twitter.com/XYGuR6beLH
— Kicky Sam 49 (@Sam_America_) May 23, 2023
“Roy Campanella only played 10 seasons, but he packed a 20-year career of accomplishments into that decade. An eight-time All-Star catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Campanella celebrated three MVP awards in 1951, 1953 and 1955. His most prolific season came in ’53, when he bashed a personal-best 41 homers with a then-franchise-record 142 RBI on a .312 average. Campanella’s career ended because of an automobile accident following the 1957 season. He suffered a fracture of the fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae and was paralyzed from the shoulders down, though he eventually regained use of his arms. The Hall of Fame enshrined Campanella in 1969,” explains Bleacher Report.
If Roy Campanella’s career hadn’t been cut short, and given he’d been able to play before the age of 26, Campanella could have been considered the undisputed best catcher of all time. “Roy Campanella made his Dodgers debut in 1948 and did not disappoint. However, in 1949 he emerged as a star and would go on to make eight consecutive All-Star teams while winning three NL MVPs. He featured as much talent as anybody in the game. His offensive ability from the catcher position is what stood out about Campanella. He is truly one of the greatest Dodgers to ever take the field,” writes Clutch Points.
Campanella and Jackie Robinson will forever be linked together. Jackie Robinson helped pave the way for Campanella to make his MLB debut just one year after Robinson broke the color barrier and the two played together for several seasons.
“Campanella’s illustrious career didn’t begin until he was 26 — a year after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier — but he managed to win three National League MVPs, a batting title and make 11 All-Star Game appearances during his 10-year MLB career. Campanella was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969, three years before his No. 39 was retired by the Dodgers,” furthers Audacy.
4. Duke Snider (1947-1962)
The fourth spot on the list of the best Dodgers players of all time goes to one of the best center fielders in team history – Duke Snider. He was part of the vaunted Dodgers teams of the 50s and he helped bring home a staggering six NL pennants.
Duke Snider posted 40+ Home Runs in 5 consecutive seasons (1953-1957) pic.twitter.com/IEC1r6Jdif
— OldTimeHardball (@OleTimeHardball) April 7, 2023
“Edwin Donald ‘Duke’ Snider was one of the faces of the 1950s Dodgers who went to six World Series during his time with the team. Duke broke in with Brooklyn in 1947 but bounced between the majors and minors his first two years. In 1949, the 22-year-old finally established himself as the everyday center fielder,” writes Pitcher List.
Although some amazing players have come through the Dodgers organization, Snider is definitely considered one of the best. Snider is the Dodgers’ all-time leader in home runs as well as several other critical statistical categories.
“Snider is the all-time leader among Dodgers position players in fWAR (63.4), while also being the franchise’s leader in offensive WAR (68.2), home runs (389), RBIs (1,271) and extra-base hits (814). Snider made seven All-Star teams as a Dodger, and is one of the greatest center fielders in MLB history. Snider’s No. 4 was retired by the Dodgers in 1980, the same year he was elected to the Hall of Fame,” adds Audacy.
Duke Snider played for both the Brooklyn Dodgers as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers. Snider is one of the few players in franchise history to play for the Dodgers in both cities. “During a 16-year career with the organization, Duke Snider suited up for both the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. The seven-time All-Star swatted 389 homers, smacked 814 extra-base hits and drove in 1,271 runs, all of which remain franchise records. Snider’s .553 slugging percentage is fourth-best… A member of the 1980 Hall of Fame class, Snider also earned the 1955 Major League Player of the Year award,” furthers Bleacher Report.
5. Clayton Kershaw (2008-present)
Rounding out the list of the best Dodgers players of all time is an active member of the current Los Angeles Dodgers – Clayton Kershaw. Clayton Kershaw has been pitching for the Dodgers since 2008, and he’s already solidified himself as one of the best players to ever wear Dodger Blue.
“For 29 other franchises, Kershaw would probably be the greatest pitcher — and perhaps just player — that the team has ever employed. Kershaw is an eight-time All-Star, has won five ERA titles, is a three-time National League Cy Young Award winner, won the 2014 pitching triple crown and was also the league MVP that same season. Kershaw is certain to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and is already one of the most dominant left-handed pitchers in MLB history. His No. 22 will definitely be retired by the Dodgers at the conclusion of his career,” explains Audacy.
To put it simply, there are times when Kershaw is absolutely unhittable. “The Hall of Fame-bound southpaw has solidified himself as baseball’s most dominant pitcher of the 2010s. Clayton Kershaw has paced the National League in ERA five times, wins thrice and strikeouts thrice this decade. Since 2011, he’s finished lower than third in Cy Young voting only once—and won the honor three times. He took home a pitching Triple Crown in 2011 (21-5, 2.28 ERA, 248 SO) and MVP after a dominant 2014 (21-3, 1.77 ERA). Kershaw is already fourth in Dodgers history with 2,228 strikeouts and seventh at 149 wins. His career 2.37 ERA only trails closer Kenley Jansen, Zack Greinke—who played three years in LA—and Jeff Pfeffer. After his retirement, the seven-time All-Star won’t be waiting long to receive his call from the Hall,” writes Bleacher Report.
Kershaw still has a few years left in him, and Dodger fans certainly aren’t ready to see him retire just yet. “Whereas Sandy had one of the greatest five-year runs in MLB history, Kersh has been really good to great since 2009…. Where Kershaw shines is in his amazing control. His K/BB ratio of 4.46 and WHIP of 1.00 are second all-time among pitchers with a minimum of 2,000 IP. Kershaw’s accolades to date include nine All-Star game appearances, three Cy Young awards, a Gold Glove, and the National League MVP in 2014. He has won five ERA titles, including four years in a row from 2011 to 2014, and completed the pitcher’s Triple Crown in 2011. Kersh already has the highest WAR in franchise history and is the club’s all-time strikeout leader,” furthers Pitcher List.
You might also be interested in:
- Bleacher Report
- How They Play
- Baseball Egg
- The Baseball Scholar
- Rookie Road
- Pitcher List
- The Grueling Truth
- Clutch Points
- The Top Tens
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