Manny Ramirez

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Posted by kaori 03/02/2009 @ 22:01

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News headlines
Dodgers Still Seeing Green After Ramirez's Suspension - New York Times
By DAN ROSENHECK Frank McCourt, the owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, did not mince words after meeting with Manny Ramirez, who was suspended for 50 games last week for violating baseball's drug policy. “We put a lot of confidence in Manny and built a...
Ramirez suspension has trickle-down effect - USA Today
By Lori Shepler, AP By Steve Gardner, USA TODAY Last year, no player had a greater impact on the fantasy season than Manny Ramirez. In addition to being one of the top overall hitters, he was a difference-maker in both AL- and NL-only leagues....
Morning Report: Big Papi's slump - Philadelphia Inquirer
By Don McKee The stench caused by Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez apparently has enveloped David Ortiz, too. Big Papi's season-long slump is being assigned by many to previous steroid use. He was using when he was clubbing home runs, the theory goes,...
Torre used to dealing with distractions - MLB.com
By Joseph Santoliquito / Special to MLB.com PHILADELPHIA -- If the Dodgers are going to survive the 50-game suspension of slugger Manny Ramirez, and the glut of media attention it's sure to bring with each city the Dodgers visit, you may not have to...
Francona on Papelbon, Manny, and more - Boston Globe
Naturally, Manny Ramirez was a popular topic, but Francona also spoke about the Red Sox' recent formula for winning and the reason Jonathan Papelbon hasn't had his usual pinpoint control. Francona: "Well, a couple of things. We've got some huge,...
Rose: A-Rod shouldn't get cheated out of Hall - New York Daily News
"That's integrity of the game," he said. Rose also said that Manny Ramirez should not get into the Hall. Ramirez is serving a 50-game suspension for for taking hCG, a female fertility drug frequently used to counteract effects of steroids....
Best playoffs in years - Winnipeg Sun
The Five Minute Major panel discuss the NHL playoffs thus far, how the Manitoba Moose will fair in round 3 of the Calder Cup playoffs, and the 50 game suspension that Manny Ramirez received from the MLB. Sun sports editor Ted Wyman debates the hottest...
Los Angeles Dodgers drop to 1-4 since Manny Ramirez suspension - The Express Times - LehighValleyLive.com
AP Photo | CHRIS PIZZELLOJoe Torre grimaces during a news conference concerning suspended Los Angeles slugger Manny Ramirez at Dodger Stadium. "He's beaten up over this," Torre said of Ramirez, who can't yet bring himself to be with the team....
Jason Bay cleaning up after Manny Ramirez departure - Boston Herald
By Michael Silverman / Red Sox Beat The standard company line from the Red Sox [team stats] when Jason Bay arrived last season in the Manny Ramirez [stats] trade was that Bay was not replacing Ramirez. The Sox said nobody could fill the departing left...
Jack Clark rips Ramirez - Philadelphia Inquirer
By Don mckee The reaction of the national media to the Manny Ramirez suspension was predictable: haughty outrage. So was the reaction of the fans: vehement anger at anyone who dares to criticize baseball's latest "Roid Boy." Bryan Burwell of the St....

Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez at bat during Spring Training of 2007.

Manuel "Manny" Aristides Ramírez Onelcida (born May 30, 1972 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) is a Dominican-American professional baseball player who is currently a free agent. A nine-time Silver Slugger, and one of twenty-four people to have hit over 500 career home runs, he is well recognized for his strong offensive abilities. He has the most career grand slams of any active player - and the second most of any player after Lou Gehrig, and has led the American League in three key batting measures: batting average, home runs and runs batted in. For the past eleven years, Ramirez has been a fixture in the All-Star Game, and is a twelve-time All-Star. Ramirez has hit 28 home runs in the postseason in his career, #1 all time. In 2004, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the World Series after helping the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series championship in 86 years. Ramirez' authorized biography, titled "Becoming Manny: Inside the Life of Baseball's Most Enigmatic Slugger" is scheduled for release in bookstores March 10, 2009.

Ramirez attended George Washington High School , New York. He was a 3-time All-City selection in baseball and was named New York City Public School Player of the Year in 1991, while batting .615 with 14 homers in 22 games. He was inducted into the New York City Public School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.

Ramirez was selected by the Cleveland Indians with the 13th pick of the 1991 draft and assigned to the Rookie-level Burlington Indians for his professional debut. He was named the Appalachian League MVP and was selected by Baseball America as short-season Player of the Year while slugging 19 homers and driving in 63 runs in 59 games, while leading the league in slugging and total bases.

With the Class-A Kinston Indians in 1992, Ramirez battled injuries but still hit .278 with 13 homers and 63 RBI in 81 games and was named as the No.3 Prospect and the "Most Exciting Player in the Carolina League" by Baseball America.

In 1993, Ramirez was named "Minor League Player of the Year" by Baseball America while combining to hit .333 with 31 homers and 115 RBI in 129 games with the Double-A Canton-Akron Indians and Triple-A Charlotte Knights.

Ramirez made his Major League debut on September 2, 1993 against the Minnesota Twins, going hitless in four at-bats as the designated hitter. The following day against the New York Yankees he went 3 for 4 with 2 home runs and a double. His first career homer was against Mélido Pérez.

In his first full season in the Majors, Ramirez finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting after batting .269 with 17 homers and 60 RBI in 91 games. He won his first career Silver Slugger Award following the 1995 season and also was selected to his first All-Star Game.

From 1993 to 2000, he had 236 home runs and 804 RBI in 967 games for the Cleveland Indians, including a career-high 45 home runs in 1998, and a career-high 165 RBI in 1999, when he hit .333 with 44 homers and scored 131 runs (also a career high). His 165 RBI in 1999 were the highest total by any player since Jimmie Foxx (1938). During his time in Cleveland, he played in two World Series: 1995 and 1997.

In December 2000, Ramirez signed an eight-year, $160 million deal with the Boston Red Sox, with $20 million options for 2009 and 2010, pushing the total value of the contract to $200 million for 10 years. Ramirez immediately delivered for the Red Sox, hitting .408 in April. His final season stats were a .306 batting average with 41 home runs and 125 RBI. On June 23, Ramirez hit two monstrous home runs against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park, with the second one hitting the very top of the light tower in left field. The length of the home run was officially listed at 501 feet, just short of Ted Williams' record of 502 feet.

Manny only played in 120 games in 2002, after being on the DL for more than a month from mid-May to the end of June with a hamstring injury. Despite this, Ramirez won the American League batting title, hitting .349, and his .647 slugging percentage was second in the league behind Jim Thome's .677. Ramirez hit his 300th career home run on August 26 against the Angels' Ramon Ortiz. It was the first of two home runs of the night for Ramirez, as he went 5-for-5 overall. This game was one of two five hit games and one of seven multiple home run games for Manny that season.

In the summer of 2003, Ramirez missed several games with pharyngitis. When it became public that he was spotted in a bar (in the same hotel where Ramirez lives) with a close friend, Yankees infielder Enrique Wilson when Ramirez was supposedly too ill to play in the Yankees series, Boston manager Grady Little benched him for one game. Despite his strong play in the 2003 postseason, the Red Sox lost to the Yankees in a seven game showdown in the ALCS. The new Red Sox ownership and management, trying to rid themselves of his massive contract, put Ramirez on irrevocable waivers, thus making him available to any team willing to assume the remainder of his contract. However, all 29 other teams passed on the opportunity to claim Ramirez.

In 2004, Ramirez led the American League in home runs (43), slugging percentage (.613) and OPS (1.009); he also finished third in RBI (130), sixth in on base percentage (.397), eighth in walks (82), tenth in runs (108), and posted a .308 batting average.

In addition, Ramirez and David Ortiz became the first pair of American League teammates to hit 40 home runs, have 100 RBI, and bat .300 since the Yankees' Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1931. Together they also hit back-to-back home runs six times, tying the major league single-season mark set by the Detroit Tigers' Hank Greenberg and Rudy York and later matched by the Chicago White Sox's Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordóñez.

In the 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Ramirez hit a two-run home run off Roger Clemens in the top of the first inning, giving his teammates a 3-0 lead. Ramirez, Derek Jeter (with a single), Ichiro Suzuki (with a double) and Iván Rodríguez (with a triple) became the first All-Star quartet to hit for the cycle during the same inning. His season was capped off by being named the MVP of the World Series as the Red Sox won their first title since 1918.

On May 15, Ramirez hit his 400th home run off Gil Meche of the Seattle Mariners. Ramirez is one of only 45 MLB players in the 400 home run club. On July 5, Ramirez hit his 20th career grand slam — and his third of the season — off Chris Young of the Texas Rangers. Only Lou Gehrig, with 23, has hit more. Off the field, this season was one of much conflict for Ramirez. Persistent trade rumors (generally involving the New York Mets) dogged him all season. After the Red Sox were eliminated in the first round of that year's playoffs by the eventual World Series champion Chicago White Sox, Ramirez once again expressed a wish to be traded. This included a threat to not show up for spring training if his latest demand was not met by Red Sox GM Theo Epstein. Toward this end, in December 2005, Ramirez put his Ritz-Carlton condominium up for sale.

Trade rumors circulated with Ramirez possibly going to the Baltimore Orioles or Mets, but no deal was reached. By January 5, 2006, Ramirez changed his mind, stating to ESPN Deportes he was dropping the demand. His agents, in turn, insisted their client was still open to a trade.

On June 10, Ramirez became the 31st player in history to hit 450 home runs, with a solo shot off Francisco Cordero of the Texas Rangers. Three weeks later, on July 1, he collected his 2000th hit. The remainder of the season was feast or famine for Ramirez: beginning in mid-July, he had a 28-game hitting streak, including 12 multi-hit games, 8 HR, and 28 RBI, but then missed 28 games from mid-August on with soreness in his right knee.

On April 22, Ramirez was the first of four Red Sox batters to homer in consecutive at bats in a game against the Yankees, tying a league record. All of the home runs were against Chase Wright. On April 29, Ramirez became the fifth player to hit 50 career home runs against the New York Yankees.

Ramirez had a well below average year, finishing with a .296 batting average, 20 home runs, and 88 runs batted in. His season was cut short when he strained his left oblique in late August during a New York Yankees series, but he did return to the lineup for the final home stand of the season. In 2007, he had the highest fielding percentage, .990, among left fielders in the American League, tied for second in the Major League; he was ranked 6th highest in range factor of all AL left fielders, 1.72, 16th in both leagues, but had the lowest zone rating of Major League left fielders with 100+ games: .713. He made two errors during the 2007 season in left field, and tied for 5th overall in the Majors in assists from left field.

In the postseason, Ramirez hit a walk-off 3-run home run in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. In the fourth inning of the series' final game, Ramirez combined with teammate David Ortiz to hit back-to-back home runs off pitcher Jered Weaver. This home run tied him with Bernie Williams for first place all-time in postseason home runs. On October 13, Ramirez hit his 23rd postseason home run, passing Bernie Williams for the most all-time.

He also helped the Red Sox to reach and win the 2007 World Series, where they swept the Colorado Rockies. In the 2007 postseason, Ramirez batted .348 with 4 home runs and 16 RBI.

On May 31st, Ramirez hit his 500th home run, against Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chad Bradford at Camden Yards in the 7th inning on the first pitch, becoming the 24th player in MLB history to do so. He joined two other Red Sox players, Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams in this exclusive home run club.

On June 5th, during a game at Fenway against the Tampa Bay Rays, an altercation between Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis resulted from Ramirez objecting to what he believed was excessive - and chronic - complaining about the strike zone by Youkilis in the dugout, as well as the first baseman's penchant for throwing equipment after at-bats. Before the fifth inning - and after the Red Sox-Rays punching session - Ramirez was caught on NESN cameras slapping Youkilis. The pair also exchanged words, and had to be separated by teammates, coaches, and training staff. Youkilis headed out to the field still barking at Ramirez, while Ramirez was escorted into the tunnel leading to the clubhouse by bench coach Brad Mills and trainer Paul Lessard. According to three sources, Ramirez had told Youkilis to "cut that out." That was what provoked Youkilis and started the problem. Later in the season, during the series with the Houston Astros, Ramirez had a physical altercation with Red Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick. The two were arguing over Ramirez's large game-day request for 16 tickets to the game in Houston, when Ramirez reportedly pushed McCormick to the ground after saying "Just do your job." The two were quickly separated and Ramirez later apologized for his behavior. The matter was dealt with internally and Ramirez was fined.

On July 25, after sitting out one game against the Seattle Mariners with a sore knee, Ramirez was originally slated to start against the Yankees. Several minutes before the game, however, he informed manager Terry Francona, through a bench coach, that he would not be playing. When back in action, Ramirez frequently did not run out ground balls. Assuming that this was due to his displeasure about his contract situation, many Red Sox fans and reporters, including Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe, called for Ramirez to be traded.

On July 31, 2008, Manny was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-way deal, in which he was almost traded to the Florida Marlins. The Boston Red Sox acquired outfielder Jason Bay and minor league infielder Josh Wilson, and the Pittsburgh Pirates got infielder Andy LaRoche, and pitching prospect Bryan Morris from the Dodgers, and outfielder Brandon Moss and pitcher Craig Hansen from the Red Sox.

Ramirez has always worn uniform number 24, but the Dodgers have retired that number in honor of Hall-of-Fame manager Walter Alston. Ramirez countered the Dodgers' suggestion of 28 by suggesting 34, but no Dodger has worn that number since Fernando Valenzuela. Ramirez finally accepted number 99, but the next day asked for 28, the Dodgers' original suggestion. However, the Dodgers' marketing department had already begun producing merchandise with number 99, so Ramirez stuck with that number.

Ramirez initially told manager Joe Torre that he would cut his dreadlocks. However, a few days later Torre said he was "not really concerned at this point" about Manny's hair, while the Dodgers were beginning to produce skullcaps with blue dreadlocks for fans to wear. On August 14, Ramirez appeared with his dreadlocks about an inch shorter. Torre declared himself satisfied, as Ramirez's hair no longer covered the name on the back of his uniform, but said he would "continue to monitor and talk about" the issue.

Ramirez hit his first home run with the Dodgers on August 2, 2008, in a game against the Diamondbacks. He currently sits in 16th place among baseball's all-time home run leaders with 527.

Ramirez was named the National League Player of the Month for August 2008. He hit .415 (44-for-106) with seven doubles, nine home runs, 25 RBIs and 21 runs scored during the month. He finished the season with the Dodgers hitting a .396 batting average, 17 home runs, and 53 RBI.

Ramirez finished the season with 37 home runs and 121 runs batted in. Among all major leaguers he finished 3rd in batting average, 2nd in slugging percentage, and 3rd in OPS.

Ramirez was fourth in the voting for the 2008 NL MVP award, with 138 points, behind Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, and Ryan Braun.

Originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1985, Ramirez joined his parents who relocated from the Dominican Republic to Washington Heights, a predominantly Dominican neighborhood in New York City. He played outfield for George Washington High School from 1989-1991.

Despite growing up in New York City, Ramirez was a devoted Toronto Blue Jays fan in the 1980s because of their numerous Latin American players, including fellow Dominicans Tony Fernández and George Bell.

In 2004, Ramirez missed a Red Sox game to become an American citizen. He entered the next game running onto the field to a standing ovation while carrying a small American flag held in his hand. He planted the flag in the left outfield corner of the field, in the shadow of the Green Monster, where it remained for the entire game.

Ramirez has three sons: Manuelito "Manny" Ramirez (b. 1995) from a previous relationship; Manny Ramirez, Jr. (b. 2003), and Lucas Ramirez (b. February 2006) with his current wife Juliana. In the off-season, the family lives in Weston, Florida.

Many stories depict Ramirez as a carefree, naïve individual whose concentration is dedicated solely to playing baseball. For example, one story (reminiscent of Yogi Berra) took place in his early years with the Cleveland Indians in June 1994. As teammates were gathered in the Indians clubhouse watching news of the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase, Ramirez asked what was going on. A player responded, "they are chasing O.J.", to which Ramirez responded in disbelief, "What did Chad do?" (in reference to their current teammate Chad Ogea).

Though his hitting ability is undeniable, Ramirez has been described as a prima donna and has periodically displayed a lack of enthusiasm and/or concentration, with mental lapses in both the outfield or running the bases. These incidents are typically described as "Manny Moments" or "Manny Being Manny." The first known documented usage of the phrase "Manny Being Manny" is attributed to then-Indian's Manager Mike Hargrove, quoted in a 1995 Newsday article .

On July 18, 2005, Ramirez disappeared into the "Green Monster" during a visit to the mound by pitching coach Dave Wallace with two outs in the top of the 6th inning. When pitcher Wade Miller was ready to resume pitching, Ramirez was nowhere to be found. It is suggested he went to urinate or even defecate, but there are no toilet facilities inside the scoreboard area. Manny has returned to the wall several times since during pitching changes, but has always returned on time. Ramirez also was seen playing left field at Fenway with a water bottle in his back pocket.

Roll over stat abbreviations for definitions. Stats through September 27, 2008.

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Manny Ramírez (American football)

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Manuel "Manny" Ramírez (born on February 19, 1983 in Houston, Texas) is an American football offensive lineman who played for Texas Tech, starting for four years on an offense that was in the top three in passing in NCAA Division-I Football for each of those years. He was selected by the Detroit Lions with the St. Louis Rams' pick (117th overall) in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Manny Ramírez grew up in Houston, Texas. He attended Willowridge High School where he was named First Team All-District 20-5A two years in a row. In addition, he was named the 6th best center in the country by Rivals.com. During his senior year, Manny was recruited by Nebraska, Kansas State, UTEP, Houston, and Iowa State but committed to Texas Tech.

As a redshirt freshman in 2003, Ramírez started 10 games, making his first start against SMU and capped off the season with a start in the 2003 Houston Bowl. During the next three years, he started all 36 regular season games along with starts in the 2004 Holiday Bowl, the 2005 Cotton Bowl and the 2006 Insight Bowl. Ramírez was named a 2nd Team All-Big 12 Offensive Lineman in 2005 . Ramírez began the 2006 season on the Outland Trophy Watch list in 2006, and was named to the All-Big 12 Preseason First Team. He concluded the 2006 season being named to the All-Big 12 Honorable Mention Team.

He set the school bench press record in 2003 by pressing 525 pounds. Ramírez tied that record the following year. In 2005, Ramírez broke his own bench press record by pressing 550 pounds at the Annual Texas Tech "Night of Champions".

Ramírez finished 2006 on an offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks, 16, since the 2000 season.

Ramírez played in the 2006 Insight Bowl which saw the biggest comeback in NCAA Division-I bowl history. The Red Raiders overcame a 31-point third-quarter deficit to beat their opponent by 3 in overtime. The winning touchdown was a 3-yard run from Shannon Woods behind a block by Ramírez.

Ramírez entered the 2007 NFL Draft following the completion of the 2006 season. He was listed as the number four overall offensive guard prospect by ESPN Insider. Ramírez accepted an invitation to the 2007 Under Armor Senior Bowl, a post-season exhibition game, played in Mobile, Alabama.. Ramírez also accepted an invitation to the 2007 NFL Combine, held February 21 - 27, 2007 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.

Ramírez was selected by the Detroit Lions with the 18th pick in the 4th round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Detroit traded two of their three fifth-round selections (139th and 154th overall) to the St. Louis Rams for their fourth-round selection (117th overall) in order to select Ramirez.

Ramírez majored in exercise sport science and was married in July 2006 to Iris Castillo.

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Albert Pujols

Pujols at the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

José Alberto Pujols Alcántara (pronounced ) (born January 16, 1980 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), (nicknamed Prince Albert, Sir Albert, Phat Albert, El Hombre, or The Machine) is a Major League Baseball first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is widely regarded as one of the best players in the game today and was voted the Most Feared Hitter in Baseball in a poll of all 30 big-league managers.

He already ranks 98th on the List of the Top 500 home run hitters in the history of the game, in eight seasons of play. On July 4, 2008, Pujols hit his 300th career home run, becoming the fifth-youngest player (28 yrs., 170 days) in MLB history to reach that milestone. He is 6' 3" and weighs 230 pounds.

Born on January 16, 1980, Pujols was raised in Santo Domingo by his grandmother in America. When Pujols was a young boy, he would show his father Bienvenido's passion for baseball by going to dirt fields to play. His favorite player in the majors was Julio Franco. Pujols and his family immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 1996, first to New York City. In New York, the Pujols family realized that the Big Apple was not a place they wanted to live. One day, Albert had seen a man shot to death while running an errand. His grandmother demanded that they move to somewhere safe. They then settled in a Dominican enclave in the Independence, Missouri area. In the U.S., Pujols displayed his love for baseball, batting over .500 in his first season of baseball at Fort Osage High School in Independence. He hit .660 with eight home runs his final year of high school. At Fort Osage, Pujols earned all-state honors in baseball twice. After starring for Fort Osage, Pujols graduated from high school in December 1998. He went on to attend Maple Woods Community College in the Kansas City area during the spring of 1999. In his only season with the community college, Pujols hit a grand slam and turned an unassisted triple play in his first game. He batted .461 for the year.

Few big league teams were very interested in Pujols. A Colorado Rockies scout reported favorably about the young hitter, but the club took no action. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays arranged a tryout for Pujols, but it went poorly (after the team did not draft him, the scout who had found Pujols resigned). The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Pujols in the 13th round of the 1999 draft with the 402nd overall pick. However, Pujols initially turned down a USD $10,000 bonus and opted to play in the Jayhawk League in Kansas instead. By the end of the summer of 1999, the Cardinals increased their bonus offer to $70,000, and Pujols signed with the team. He was assigned to the minor leagues.

In 2000, Pujols played for the Peoria Chiefs of the single-A Midwest League, where he was voted league MVP. Pujols quickly progressed through the ranks of the St. Louis farm clubs, first at the Potomac Cannons in the high-A Carolina League and then with the Memphis Redbirds in the Class AAA Pacific Coast League.

During spring training in 2001, the Cardinals were preparing for Pujols to join the Major League ranks. Pujols played extremely well in the spring and won a spot on the Opening Day roster (Bobby Bonilla's placement on the disabled list did not affect his position on the roster).

In the season's second series, playing against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Pujols hit a home run, three doubles and eight RBI, securing his spot on the team. In May, he was named National League Rookie of the Month. In June, he was named to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game by NL manager Bobby Valentine, the first Cardinal rookie selected since 1955. Pujols' phenomenal rookie season helped the Cardinals tie for the National League Central Division title. For the season, Pujols batted .329/.403/.610 with 37 home runs and 130 RBI, and was unanimously named the National League Rookie of the Year. His 37 home runs were one short of the National League rookie record of 38, held by Wally Berger of the 1930 Boston Braves and Frank Robinson of the 1956 Cincinnati Redlegs. His 130 RBI set an NL rookie record.

In 2002, Pujols struggled early on, but continued to bat extremely well throughout the season, hitting .314/.394/.561 with 34 homers and 127 RBI. The team finished first in the NL Central during a difficult 2002 season. The Cardinals defeated the Diamondbacks in the first round of the playoffs, but lost to the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship series. Pujols finished second in the MVP voting behind Barry Bonds.

In the 2003 season, Pujols had one of the best individual offensive seasons in Cardinals history, batting .359/.439/.667 with 43 home runs and 124 RBI. He won the National League batting title while also leading the league in runs, hits, doubles, extra base hits and total bases. At 23, Pujols became the youngest NL batting champion since 1962 and joined Rogers Hornsby as the only players in Cardinals history to record 40+ homers and 200+ hits in the same season. The Cardinals, however, failed to make the playoffs, faltering in the stretch to the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. Pujols finished second in the MVP voting to Barry Bonds for the second straight year and had a 30-game hitting streak.

Pujols started his major league career playing primarily as a third baseman. During his rookie season, he started at four different positions (1B, 3B, LF and RF), and has also appeared at 2B (late in the 2001 All-Star game as well as a regular season game in April 2008) and SS (late in one 2002 regular season game). When Scott Rolen joined the team in 2002, Pujols was moved to left field. Following an injury scare in 2003, Pujols was moved to his current position at first base.

Pujols signed a seven-year, $100 million contract extension with a $16 million club option for 2011 on February 20, 2004. He received a full no-trade clause for 2004-2006, and a limited no-trade clause for the remainder of the deal.

Throughout the year, Pujols was nagged by plantar fasciitis, but was still a powerful hitter, hitting .331/.415/.657 with 46 home runs and 123 RBI. Pujols, along with teammates Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen, earned the nickname MV3 for their phenomenal 2004 seasons. In addition, Pujols was chosen to appear on the cover of EA Sports' video game, MVP Baseball 2004. He was also the MVP of the 2004 National League Championship Series, helping his team reach the World Series, where they were swept by the Boston Red Sox.

The 2005 season saw Pujols establish career highs in walks and stolen bases, while leading his team in almost every offensive category. He finished batting .330/.430/.609, with 41 home runs (including his 200th career homer), 117 RBI, 97 walks, and 16 stolen bases (leading all major league first basemen). His performance in 2005 earned him the National League Most Valuable Player award.

In 2005, John Dewan noted in The Fielding Bible that no first baseman was better at digging balls out of the dirt than Pujols. Pujols saved 42 bad throws by his fielders in 2005 (Derrek Lee was second with 23). At the same time, Pujols shared the major league lead in errors for a first baseman, with 14.

Pujols set the record for the most home runs hit in the first month of the season, at 14, on April 29, 2006. The record was tied by Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees in 2007. On June 3, 2006, Pujols suffered an oblique strain chasing a foul pop fly off the bat of Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez. He was later placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time in his career on June 4 – June 21, missing 15 games. Pujols, at the time of his injury, had 25 home runs and 65 RBI and was on pace to break the single-season records held by Barry Bonds (73 HRs) and Hack Wilson (191 RBI). He returned in time to help the Cardinals win the NL Central. He started at first base for the 2006 National League All-Star team. Pujols finished the season with a .331/.431/.671 line, establishing new career-highs in slugging percentage (in which he led the majors), home runs (49)(second) and RBIs (137) (second). In the 2006 National League MVP voting, he came in a close second to Ryan Howard, garnering 12 of 32 first-place votes.

After appearing in the playoffs with the Cardinals in four of his first five years in the big leagues but falling short each time, Pujols won his first championship ring when the Cardinals won the 2006 World Series, defeating the Detroit Tigers four games to one.

After the 2006 season Pujols' defensive improvements were recognized as he was given the Gold Glove award. He had the highest range factor among first basemen in his two full seasons at the position, and led the National League in that category in 2006; emblematic was the sprawling, flip-from-his-back playPujols made to rob Plácido Polanco of a hit in the 7th inning of Game 5 of the World Series.

Pujols had a slower start in the spring than in previous years due to several injuries in his right elbow. Following the All-Star Break, he hit four home runs in his first three games back. Pujols was also awarded the Player of the Week honors on July 15 after going 9-for-15 with a 1.357 slugging percentage and 19 total bases, all while batting .429.

He hit his 25th home run on August 15, making him the fifth player to hit 25 home runs in his first seven seasons in the major leagues, and the first since Darryl Strawberry. On August 22, he hit his 30th home run of the season, becoming the first major league player to hit at least 30 home runs in each of his first 7 seasons. It was his fifth consecutive game with a home run, tying the Cardinals' single-season record. He finished August batting .317, slugging .558 with 30 home runs and 84 runs batted in, while still sporting an excellent .416 on-base percentage despite his slower-than-usual start in April.

In a pre-game warmup on the field before a September 18 game at home, Pujols suffered a strained calf muscle in his left leg and was not able to start or appear later in the game. In September, he hit two home runs for a total of 32, the last one giving him 16 RBI for the month, and 100 RBI for the seventh consecutive year to become only the third player to accomplish the feat at the start of his career.

Pujols won the Fielding Bible Award in 2007 for his defensive excellence at first base.

Pujols reached another milestone early in the season when he hit his 300th career double in April 2008. For the month of April, he reached base safely (via hit, walk, or hit-by-pitch) in all 29 team games played, starting on April 1. His streak eventually reached 42 games, ending on May 16. It was the longest streak in baseball since Derek Jeter's 53-game streak in 1999.

On May 22 Pujols was involved in causing injuries to two players on the San Diego Padres within the same inning. In the third inning, he lined a pitch by Padres starting pitcher Chris Young into Young's face, breaking his nose and forcing him to leave the game. Later, as Pujols tried to score on a single by Troy Glaus, he slid into catcher Josh Bard, spraining Bard's ankle and forcing him to leave the game as well.

On June 10 Pujols strained his left-calf muscle and went on the 15-day disabled list for the second time in his eight-year career. He was re-activated on June 26 after missing 13 games.

On July 4 against the Chicago Cubs, Pujols hit his 300th career home run. He was the fifth youngest player to reach the mark.

On Monday, August 25, Albert won the NL Player of the Week award (Aug. 18-24) for the seventh time in his career after batting .579 (11-for-19) with a .652 on-base percentage, a 1.105 slugging percentage, and 10 RBIs.

Pujols had his 1,500th career hit on August 30 against the Houston Astros. On September 1, Pujols hit his 30th home run of the season off of Randy Johnson to start his career with eight consecutive 30 HR seasons, the first player to do so in MLB history.

Pujols hit his 100th RBI on Thursday, September 11 off Rich Harden (also Pujols' 40th double of the season) to become the first player in MLB history to start his career with eight seasons of at least 30 HR, 100 RBIs, a .300 BA and 99 runs. He also finished with a league-leading .296 Isolated Power (ISO) average.

On October 13, Pujols elected to have surgery on his troubled right elbow, "a procedure that included decompression and transposition of the ulnar nerve" but not the more invasive Tommy John surgery to relieve persistent pain. He has played through varying degrees of discomfort with it since 2003.

On October 21, Albert was named Players Choice National League Outstanding Player of the Year, beating out the other finalists, Chipper Jones (ATL), Ryan Braun (MIL), Manny Ramirez (LAD), and Ryan Howard (PHI). The Players Choice Awards are voted on by every member of the Major League Baseball Players Association (the players' union) and include several categories; Albert was NL Outstanding Rookie of the Year in 2001, both NL Outstanding Player and (overall) Player of the Year in 2003, and Marvin Miller Award winner (for "charitable accomplishments off the field") in 2006.

Three days later, on October 24, Albert was named Players Choice Player of the Year; the two other finalists were Cliff Lee (Cleveland Indians) and Manny Ramirez (Boston Red Sox-Los Angeles Dodgers). This is Albert's second Player of the Year Award, having also won in 2003; he joins Alex Rodriguez (2002, 2007) and Barry Bonds* (2001, 2004) as two-time winners (this honor was added to the Players Choice Awards in 1998). This same day Michael Young of the Texas Rangers was announced as the Marvin Miller Man of the Year; this Players Choice award had one finalist from every MLB division, with Albert representing the NL Central.

On October 22, Albert had been named The Sporting News Player of the Year (not to be confused with the Players Choice Player of the Year award). Albert was also the SN Player of the Year in 2003.

On October 25, Albert was named the 2008 winner of the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award for the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement, and the individual's contribution to his team.

On October 30, Albert won the Fielding Bible Award for defensive excellence at first base for the third consecutive year (2006-08). He is the only player to win this award all three years of its existence. Gold Gloves are voted on by MLB managers and coaches, but the Fielding Bible Awards are determined by a panel of 10 experts in advanced statistical analysis. Also, one Gold Glove is awarded for each position in each league (18 total), whereas one Fielding Bible Award is given each position, period (9 total). In announcing Albert's 2006 win, the award webpage noted, "It's amazing to think that the best hitter of this generation is also the best fielding player at his position." The 2008 vote was close, though, with 5 first-place votes going to Albert and 4 to Mark Teixeira (ATL-LAA).

On November 5, for the 3rd time in 4 years, Albert was named NL Most Valuable Player in the annual Internet Baseball Awards, a poll conducted by Baseball Prospectus. Albert "has received a higher average level of support from the voters than any other player in the history of the voting," finishing # 4, 4, 2, 2, 1, 1, 7, and 1 in his 8 major league seasons.

On November 13, Albert won his fourth Silver Slugger--being voted the top-producing NL first-baseman--having previously won one at each of three positions: 3B in 2001, OF in 2003, and 1B in 2004.

On November 17, Albert won his second NL MVP Award. The honor is given according to pre-playoff voting by 32 members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, 2 in each of the 16 NL cities. Pujols received 18 first-place votes and 369 total points. Second in both categories, Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies snagged 12 firsts and 308 points. (Philly Brad Lidge got the 2 other firsts and came in eighth overall, behind Ryan Braun, Manny Ramirez, Lance Berkman, CC Sabathia, and David Wright.) Besides his 18 first-place votes, Pujols received 10 for second place, 2 for third place, 1 for fourth place, and 1 for seventh place. Albert was the 2005 NL MVP and has finished in the top nine in the BBWAA voting every year in his 8-year career: fourth in 2001, second in 2002, second again, third, first, second in 2006 (to Howard), ninth, and now first again.

On December 15, he won TYIB's 'Hitter of the Year' Award.

Pujols married his wife, Deidre, on January 1, 2000. They have three children, Isabella (Deidre's daughter, adopted by Albert), Albert Jr., and Sophia. Albert and his wife are active in the cause of people with Down syndrome, as Isabella was born with this condition. He has taken part-ownership in Patrick's Restaurant in Maryland Heights, Missouri. The remodeled restaurant was re-opened as Pujols 5 on August 30, 2006.

Pujols is close friends with second baseman Plácido Polanco, a former teammate with the St. Louis Cardinals. Pujols is godfather to Polanco's 3-year-old son, Ismael. Polanco played for the 2006 Detroit Tigers team that lost to the Cardinals in the 2006 World Series.

On February 7, 2007, Pujols became a U.S. citizen, scoring a perfect 100 on his citizenship test.

On April 24, 2007, Upper Deck Authenticated announced it had signed Pujols to an exclusive autographed memorabilia agreement.

On November 18, 2008, Pujols agreed to help bring a MLS franchise to St. Louis by using his reputation and a large financial investment.

In 2005, Albert and Diedre Pujols launched the Pujols Family Foundation, which is dedicated to "the love, care and development of people with Down syndrome and their families," as well as helping the poor in the Dominican Republic. Pujols has taken several trips to the Dominican, by taking supplies as well as a team of doctors and dentists to the poor who need medical care. The Pujols Family Foundation also holds an annual golf tournament in which members from the Cardinals and other people play golf to raise money to send dentists to the Dominican Republic.

Roll over stat abbreviations for definitions. Stats through 2008.

Roll over stat abbreviations for definitions. Stats through 2008.

YEAR (bold) = Selected as Starter * Was selected, but did not play in the game.

Roll over stat abbreviations for definitions. Stats through 2008.

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Jason Giambi

Giambi swings at a pitch in 2006.

He was the American League MVP in 2000 with the Oakland Athletics, and is a five time All-Star who has led the American League in walks four times, in on base percentage three times, in doubles and in slugging percentage once each, and won the Silver Slugger award twice. He attended Long Beach State.

Through December 2006, he is 4th in the majors of all active players in hit by pitch (127; he has been hit 8 times by David Wells in 30 at bats), 6th in on base percentage (.413), and 8th in walks (1,089).

He also is third in the majors in the 2000s, through 2006, in both OBP (.438) and walks (551), 10th in slugging percentage (.582), 13th in home runs (175), and 16th in RBIs (526). Giambi is also known to have taken performance-enhancing drugs during his career, an action for which he has publicly apologized.

Born in West Covina, California, Giambi attended Sierra Vista Middle School in Covina, California.

He then attended South Hills High School, where he was a three-sport standout. Giambi was on the baseball team, whose roster also included his brother Jeremy and three other future Major Leaguers and teammates, infielder Shawn Wooten, pitchers (the late) Cory Lidle and Aaron Small. He batted .386 during his three years of varsity baseball, leading his team to the state finals as a senior. He was voted MVP in both baseball and basketball. In American football, he was an All-League quarterback.

Giambi went on to play collegiate baseball at Long Beach State.

Giambi was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 2nd round in 1992.

He spent the 1993 season playing for the Modesto A's - the Oakland Athletics' single A farm team.

He was a member of the fourth place United States national baseball team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Before making it into MLB, Giambi played a season for the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks, Alaska in the Alaska Baseball League. Giambi also played for the Huntsville Stars in the Southern League.

Giambi made his major league debut in 1995 with the Oakland Athletics. Originally used occasionally as an outfielder,third baseman, and first baseman, he assumed the full-time first base job upon the trade of Mark McGwire to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1997.

Giambi led the team in 1998 with 27 home runs, 110 RBI, and a .295 batting average.

Giambi was even better in 1999, when he hit .315 with 33 homers, 105 walks (2nd in the league), and 123 RBI (6th). He came in 8th in MVP voting.

He had a sensational 2000 season. He led the league in on base percentage (.476; leading the majors) and walks (137; a personal high and still the most walks in the AL since 1991). He hit .333 (7th in the league) with 43 homers (2nd; a career high), 137 RBI (4th; a career high), 108 runs (10th), and a 647 slugging percentage (3rd). Giambi narrowly won the American League MVP award over Frank Thomas.

His 2001 season was nearly identical. He led the league for the second year in a row in both on base percentage (.477; a career best, and still the highest OBP in the AL since 1995) and walks (129). He also led the league in slugging percentage (.660; a career best), doubles (47; a career high), times on base (320), and extra base hits (87). He batted .342 (2nd in the American League; a career high) with 38 homers (7th), 109 runs (6th), and 120 RBI (8th). He was second in the league in intentional walks (24), the only time in his career that he was in the top 10 in this category. He finished a close second in MVP voting to rookie Ichiro Suzuki, and won the Silver Slugger award.

Both years, he led the Athletics to the post-season, both times losing in the American League Division Series to the New York Yankees in 5 games.

On December 13, 2001, Giambi signed a 7-year $120-million deal with the New York Yankees. In line with Yankee team rules, Giambi cut his long hair and shaved his goatee. The signing upset many Athletics fans, who felt betrayed by the departure of their team leader. Giambi became an object of the A's fans' wrath whenever New York visited Oakland. During a game on May 14, 2005, he was hit with a beer thrown by an unruly fan on his way back to the dugout. New York fans, however, having seen their team pass on Manny Ramírez the previous off-season, were excited to add a top hitter to their offense, which was anemic throughout the 2001 post-season.

Giambi continued slugging with New York in 2002. He led the league for the 2nd consecutive year in times on base (300), had 109 walks (2nd), was 3rd in the league with both a .435 obp and 15 HBP, had 41 home runs (4th), 120 runs (4th; a career high), and a .598 slugging percentage (4th), knocked in 122 runs (5th), and batted .314 (6th). He came in 5th in AL MVP voting, and again won the Silver Slugger award. He also hit an "ultimate grand slam" -- a walk-off grand slam against the Twins in a rain-soaked extra-inning game, that won that game 13–12.

Although his average dipped to .250 in 2003, he led the league in walks (129) for the 3rd time in his career and in HBP (21) and percent of plate appearances that were walks (19.4%), maintained an extremely high on-base percentage (.412; 3rd in the league), hit 41 home runs (4th), and had 107 RBI (8th). He was also second in the major leagues in fly ball percentage (52.0%). He remained one of the most patient hitters in the majors. At the same time, he also led the league in strikeouts (140), the only season that he has even been in the top 10 in the league in that category.

On July 30, 2004, test results confirmed that Giambi had a benign tumor, which placed him on the disabled list. He was treated for the tumor, and returned to the team and played in a game on September 14.

Towards the middle of the 2005 season, Giambi saw a resurgence in his career. On July 31 he hit his 300th career home run off of Esteban Yan of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This was his 14th home run of the month, tying Mickey Mantle for the Yankee record for home runs in July. Giambi ended the 2005 season leading the major leagues in walk percentage (20.6%) and leading the American League in walks for the 4th time in his career (109), and in OBP for the 3rd time in his career (.440, as well as in fly ball percentage (47.7%); second in MLB to Todd Helton), and had an OPS of .975, placing him 5th in the AL. He hit 32 homers (10th in the league), the 7th time in his career in which he has hit 30 or more, and was 4th in HBP (19) and at-bats per home run (13.0). Giambi was named the AL Comeback Player of the Year.

In 2006, Giambi was named the American League Player of the Month for April, hitting .344 with 9 home runs and driving in 27 runs (RBI). However, he was left off the 2006 American League All-Star roster. He finished the season leading the majors in walk percentage (19.8%) and leading the league in % Pitches Taken (64.4), 2nd in walks (110), hbp (16), and pitches seen per PA (4.37), 5th in at bats per home run (12.1), 6th in on base percentage (.416), 7th in home runs (37) and slugging percentage (.558), 8th in intentional walks (12), and 9th in RBIs (113), despite playing in only 139 games (half of them at DH, and half at 1B) for the 2nd year in a row. He performed the unusual feat of having as many RBIs as hits, and for the 3rd time in his career had more walks than strikeouts.

Giambi's numbers were down precipitously in the 2007 season due to an injury, in which he hit just .236 with 14 home runs and 39 RBI. He played in just 83 games, 53 of which as a designated hitter. Giambi got off to a horrible start in 2008, hitting below .200 for more than a month. However as of June he has turned his season around and has become one of the team's most productive players. 2008 will be his last year with the Yankees unless they take an option for 2009.

On September 3, 2008, Giambi walked into a bathroom door in his hotel room while in Florida before playing against the Tampa Bay Rays. The accident caused him to split his eyelid open but he played through the injury later that night and went one for four with one RBI, helping the Yankees win game 2 of the series.

On September 21, 2008, Giambi recorded the final hit in Yankee Stadium, when he drove in Brett Gardner with an RBI single.

On November 4, 2008, the Yankees declined their option on Giambi for the 2009 season making him a free agent.

On January 6, 2009, Giambi agreed to sign with the Oakland Athletics. He officially re-joined the A's the next day, and he was given his old #16 jersey. Giambi, once again sporting a goatee, will also "remain scruffy" with the A's unlike the George Steinbrenner-mandated shaving policy the Yankees had, though he did thank Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman for his time with that team.

Late in 2003, Giambi was named by FBI officers investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO) as being one of the baseball players believed to have received anabolic steroids from trainer Greg Anderson.

In December 2004, the San Francisco Chronicle reported it had seen Giambi's 2003 grand jury testimony in the BALCO investigation. The newspaper said that in his testimony, Giambi admitted to using several different steroids during the off-seasons from 2001 to 2003, and injecting himself with human growth hormone during the 2003 season. In a press conference prior to the 2005 season, Giambi apologized publicly to the media and his fans, though he did not specifically state what for. The lawyer who illegally leaked the testimony later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison.

Giambi apologized again on May 16, 2007, this time specifically for using steroids, and urged others in the sport to do the same. "I was wrong for using that stuff," he told USA Today. "What we should have done a long time ago was stand up -- players, ownership, everybody -- and said, 'We made a mistake.'" When asked why he used steroids, Giambi responded: "Maybe one day I'll talk about it, but not now." Giambi did speak with George J. Mitchell, after being forced to do so by Bud Selig. Subsequently, in December 2007, the Mitchell Report included Giambi along with his brother Jeremy Giambi. Giambi's younger brother, former major leaguer Jeremy Giambi, has also admitted to using steroids during his career.

The prosecution in the Barry Bonds perjury case has indicated that they intend to call both Jason and Jeremy Giambi to testify against Bonds in his March 2009 trial.

At the time of his 2007 comments, it was speculated that the New York Yankees organization might seek to void the remaining portion of his existing 7 year $120 million dollar contract, but this did not happen.

Giambi married his wife Kristian on February 2, 2002.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

NLW-LAD-Logo.png

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a Major League Baseball team based in Los Angeles, California, USA. The team is in the Western Division of the National League. Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of names before becoming the Brooklyn Dodgers circa 1911. The team moved to Los Angeles before the 1958 season. The Dodgers are the current National League West champions.

Brooklyn was home to numerous baseball clubs in the mid-1850s. Eight of 16 participants in the first convention were from Brooklyn, including the Atlantic, Eckford and Excelsior clubs that combined to dominate play for most of the 1860s. Brooklyn helped make baseball commercial, as the locale of the first paid admission games, a series of three all star contests matching New York and Brooklyn in 1858. Brooklyn also featured the first two enclosed baseball grounds, the Union Grounds and the Capitoline Grounds; enclosed, dedicated ballparks accelerated the evolution from amateurism to professionalism.

Despite the success of Brooklyn clubs in the first Association, officially amateur until 1869, they fielded weak teams in the succeeding National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, the first professional league formed in 1871. The Excelsiors no longer challenged for the amateur championship after the war and never entered the professional NA. The Eckfords and Atlantics declined to join until 1872 and thereby lost their best players; Eckford survived only one season and Atlantic four, with losing teams.

The National League replaced the NA in 1876 and granted exclusive territories to its eight members, excluding the Atlantics in favor of the New York Mutuals who had shared the same home grounds. When the Mutuals were expelled by the League, the Hartford Dark Blues club moved in, changed its name to The Brooklyn Hartfords and played its home games at Union Grounds in 1877 before disbanding. They were also the Brooklyn Superbas during the late 1890s and early 1900s.

The historic and heated rivalry between the Dodgers and the Giants is more than a century old, and is the longest rivalry in baseball history, having begun when both clubs played in New York City (the Dodgers in Brooklyn and the Giants in Manhattan). When both franchises moved to California in 1958, the rivalry was easily transplanted with them, as the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco have long been rivals in economic, cultural, and political arenas throughout the history of the State of California.

Manager Wilbert Robinson, another former Oriole, popularly known as “Uncle Robbie,” restored the Brooklyn team to respectability, with his “Brooklyn Robins” winning pennants to reach the 1916 and 1920 World Series, losing both, but contending perennially for several seasons. Charles Ebbetts and Ed McKeever died within a week in 1925, and Robbie was named president while still field manager. Upon assuming the title of president, however, Robinson’s ability to focus on the field declined, and the teams of the late 1920s were often fondly referred to as the “Daffiness Boys” for their distracted, error-ridden style of play. Outfielder Babe Herman was the leader both in hitting and in zaniness. After his removal as club president, Robinson returned to managing, and the club’s performance rebounded somewhat.

When Robinson retired in 1931, he was replaced as manager by Max Carey. Although some suggested renaming the "Robins" the "Brooklyn Canaries," after Carey (whose last name was originally "Carnarius"), the name "Brooklyn Dodgers" returned to stay following Robinson's retirement. It was during this era that Willard Mullin, a noted sports cartoonist, fixed the Brooklyn team with the lovable nickname of “Dem Bums.” After hearing his cab driver ask "So how did those bums do today?" Mullin decided to sketch an exaggerated version of famed circus clown Emmett Kelly to represent the Dodgers in his much-praised cartoons in the New York World-Telegram. Both the image and the nickname caught on, so much so that many a Dodger yearbook cover, from 1951 through 1957, featured a Willard Mullin illustration with the Brooklyn Bum.

Perhaps the highlight of the Daffiness Boys era came after Wilbert Robinson had left the dugout. In 1934, Giants player/manager Bill Terry was asked about the Dodgers’ chances in the coming pennant race and cracked infamously, “Is Brooklyn still in the league?” Managed now by Casey Stengel (who played for the Dodgers in the 1910s and would go on to greatness managing the New York Yankees), the 1934 Dodgers were determined to make their presence felt. As it happened, the season ended with the Giants tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the pennant, with the Giants’ remaining games against the Dodgers. Stengel led his Bums to the Polo Grounds for the showdown and they beat the Giants twice to knock them out of the pennant race. The “Gashouse Gang” Cardinals nailed the pennant by beating the Cincinnati Reds those same two days.

One key development during this era was the 1938 appointment of Leland Stanford MacPhail — better known as Larry MacPhail — as the Dodgers' general manager. MacPhail, who brought night baseball to MLB as general manager of the Reds, also introduced Brooklyn to night baseball and ordered the successful refurbishing of Ebbets Field. He also brought Reds voice Red Barber to Brooklyn as the Dodgers' lead announcer in 1939, just after MacPhail broke the New York baseball executives' agreement to ban live baseball broadcasts, enacted because of the fear of what effect the radio calls would have on the home teams' attendance.

MacPhail remained with the Dodgers until 1942, when he returned to the Armed Forces for World War II. (He later became one of the New York Yankees' co-owners, bidding unsuccessfully for Barber to join him in the Bronx as announcer.) MacPhail's surviving son Leland Jr. (Lee MacPhail) and surviving grandson Andy MacPhail also became MLB execs.

The first major-league baseball game to be televised was Brooklyn’s 6-1 victory over Cincinnati at Ebbets Field on August 26, 1939. Batting helmets were introduced to Major League Baseball by the Dodgers in 1941.

For most of the first half of the 20th century, no Major League Baseball team employed an African American player. A parallel system of Negro Leagues developed, but most of the Negro League players were denied a chance to prove their skill before a national audience. Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play for a Major League Baseball team when he played his first major league game on April 15, 1947, as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. It happened mainly due to General Manager Branch Rickey's efforts. The deeply religious Rickey's motivation appears to have been primarily moral although business considerations were also present. Rickey was a member of The Methodist Church, the antecedent denomination to The United Methodist Church of today, which was a strong advocate for social justice and active later in the Civil Rights movement.

The inclusion of Robinson on the team also led the Dodgers to move its spring training site. Prior to 1946, the Dodgers held their spring training in Jacksonville, Florida. However, the city's stadium refused to host an exhibition game with the Montreal Royals, which Robinson was a member of at the time, due to segregation laws. Sanford also refused to host the game. Ultimately, City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach agreed to host the game with Robinson playing. The team would return to Daytona Beach for spring training in 1947, this time with Robinson on the big club. Although the Dodgers ultimately built Dodgertown and its Holman Stadium further south in Vero Beach, and played there for 61 spring training seasons from 1948 through 2008, Daytona Beach would rename City Island Ballpark to Jackie Robinson Ballpark in his honor.

This event was the harbinger of the integration of sports in the United States, the concomitant demise of the Negro Leagues, and is regarded as a key moment in the history of the American Civil Rights movement. Robinson was an exceptional player, a speedy runner who sparked the whole team with his intensity, and was given the inaugural Rookie of the Year award, which is now named the Jackie Robinson award in his honor. Robinson would eventually go on to become the first African-American elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

After the wilderness years of the 1920s and 1930s, the Dodgers were rebuilt into a contending club first by general manager Larry MacPhail and then the legendary Branch Rickey. Led by Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson and Gil Hodges in the infield, Duke Snider in center field, Roy Campanella behind the plate, and Don Newcombe on the pitcher's mound, the Dodgers won pennants in 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, and 1953, only to fall to the New York Yankees in all five of the subsequent World Series. The annual ritual of building excitement, followed in the end by disappointment, became a common pattern to the long suffering fans, and “Wait ’til next year!” became an unofficial Dodger slogan.

While the Dodgers generally enjoyed success during this period, in 1951 they fell victim to one of the largest collapses in the history of baseball. On August 11, Brooklyn led the National League by an enormous 13½ games over their archrivals, the Giants. However, while the Dodgers went 26-22 from that time until the end of the season, the Giants went on an absolute tear, winning an amazing 37 of their last 44 games, including their last seven in a row. At the conclusion of the season, the Dodgers and the Giants were tied for first place, forcing a three-game playoff for the pennant. The Giants took Game 1 by a score of 3-1 before being shut out by the Dodgers' Clem Labine in Game 2, 10-0. It all came down to the final game, and Brooklyn seemed to have the pennant locked up, holding a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth inning. However, Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson hit a stunning three-run walk-off home run off the Dodgers' Ralph Branca to secure the NL Championship for New York. Today, this home run is known as the Shot Heard 'Round The World.

In 1955, by which time the core of the Dodger team was beginning to age, “next year” finally came. The fabled “Boys of Summer” shot down the "Bronx Bombers" in seven games, led by the first-class pitching of young left-hander Johnny Podres, whose key pitch was a changeup known as “pulling down the lampshade” because of the arm motion used right when the ball was released. Podres won two Series games, including the deciding seventh. The turning point of Game 7 was a spectacular double play that began with left fielder Sandy Amoros running down Yogi Berra’s long fly, then throwing to shortstop Pee Wee Reese, who doubled up a surprised Gil McDougald at first base to preserve the Dodger lead. The Dodgers won 2-0.

Real estate businessman Walter O'Malley had acquired majority ownership of the Dodgers in 1950, when he bought the shares of his co-owners, the estate of the late John L. Smith and Branch Rickey. Before long he was working to buy new land in Brooklyn to build a more accessible and better arrayed ballpark than Ebbets Field. Beloved as it was, Ebbets Field had grown old and was not well served by infrastructure, to the point where the Dodgers could not sell the park out even in the heat of a pennant race (despite largely dominating the league from 1946 to 1957).

New York City Construction Coordinator Robert Moses, however, sought to force O'Malley into using a site in Flushing Meadows, Queens – the site for what eventually became Shea Stadium. Moses' vision involved a city-built, city-owned park, which was greatly at odds with O'Malley's real-estate savvy. When it became clear to O'Malley that he was not going to be allowed to buy any suitable land in Brooklyn, he began thinking elsewhere.

Meanwhile, non-stop transcontinental air travel had become routine during the years since the Second World War, and teams were no longer bound by much slower railroad timetables. Because of these transportation advances, it became possible to locate teams further apart – as far west as California – while maintaining the same game schedules.

When Los Angeles officials attended the 1956 World Series looking to entice a team to move to the City of Angels, they were not even thinking of the Dodgers. Their original target had been the Washington Senators (who would in fact move to Bloomington, Minnesota to become the Minnesota Twins in 1961). At the same time, O'Malley was looking for a contingency in case Moses and other New York politicians refused to let him build the Brooklyn stadium he wanted, and sent word to the Los Angeles officials that he was interested in talking. Los Angeles offered him what New York would not: a chance to buy land suitable for building a ballpark, and own that ballpark, giving him complete control over all its revenue streams.

Meanwhile, Giants owner Horace Stoneham was having similar difficulty finding a replacement for his team's antiquated home stadium, the Polo Grounds. Stoneham was considering moving the Giants to Minneapolis, but was persuaded instead to move them to San Francisco, ensuring that the Dodgers would have a National League rival closer than St. Louis. So the two arch-rival teams, the Dodgers and Giants, moved out to the West Coast together after the 1957 season.

The Brooklyn Dodgers played their final game at Ebbets Field on September 24, 1957, which the Dodgers won 2-0 over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On April 18, 1958, the Los Angeles Dodgers played their first game in LA, defeating the former New York and now new San Francisco Giants, 6-5, before 78,672 fans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

A 2007 HBO film, Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush, is a documentary covering the Dodgers history from early days to the beginning of the Los Angeles era.

The process of building Walter O'Malley's dream stadium soon began in semi-rural Chavez Ravine, in the hills just north of downtown L.A. There was some political controversy, as the residents of the ravine, mostly Hispanic and mostly poor, resisted the eminent domain removal of their homes (land which had been previously condemned for a public housing project, Elysian Park Heights) and gained some public sympathy. Still, O'Malley and the city government were determined, and construction proceeded. The resistance of the residents against their removal was known as the Battle of Chavez Ravine.

In the meantime, the Dodgers played their home games from 1958 to 1961 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a gargantuan football and track-and-field stadium that had been built built in 1923, and then expanded to host the 1932 Summer Olympics. The Coliseum's dimensions were not optimal for baseball, and the best way to fit a baseball diamond into the oval-shaped stadium was to lay the third-base line parallel to the short axis of the oval, and the first-base parallel to the long axis. This resulted in a left-field fence that was only about 250 feet from home plate. A 40-foot high screen was erected to prevent home runs from becoming too trivial to hit. Still, the 1958 season saw 182 home runs hit to left field in the home games, whereas just three were hit to center field, and only eight to right field. The Dodgers outfielder Wally Moon, newly acquired for the 1959 season, became adept at launching lazy fly balls over or onto the screen, which became known as "Moon shots." He led the National League with triples in 1959.

In 1959, the season ended in a tie between the Dodgers and the Milwaukee Braves. The Dodgers won the tie-breaking playoff. 1959 also saw a team other than the Yankees win the A.L. pennant, one of only two such years in the 16-year stretch from 1949 through 1964. In a lively World Series, the Dodgers defeated the "Go-Go" White Sox in six games, thoroughly cementing the bond between the baseball team and its new Southern California fans.

Commemorating its 50th year in Los Angeles, the Dodgers team again played one more game in the Memorial Coliseum on March 29, 2008 - an exhibition game to benefit a cancer research charity. The crowd of 115,300, the largest in baseball history in any country, any league, saw the Dodgers lose to the Boston Red Sox by a score of 7 - 4. Due to intervening renovations, the Coliseum's left field corner was shortened to only 190 feet, calling for an even-taller left-field fence of 60 feet. Kevin Cash of the Red Sox and James Loney of the Dodgers did hit home runs over that fence, but there were unexpectedly-few home runs in the game.

Despite the passage of 50 plus years since departing from Brooklyn, many in the borough, and the nation, continue efforts to encourage a move back east. Many of these efforts take the shape of letter writing campaigns, online petitions and nostalgic articles. Brooklyn Dodgers merchandise is still popular among fans as well. Major League Baseball estimates $9 million in sales every year. The Baseball Hall of Fame reports that Brooklyn photos and broadcasts are the museum's second biggest sellers behind the Yankees, Ebay lists close to 1,000 items a day relating to the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the Library of Congress has over 100 books on Brooklyn Dodger teams, third only to the Yankees and Red Sox.

There have been occasional attempts to move the Dodgers back to Brooklyn. State senator Tom Bartosiewicz tried hard to persuade them in the early 1980s, but was rebuffed. A stronger chance was in 1998, when the O'Malley family sold up to Rupert Murdoch's Fox company. In the course of bidding, a committee convened by the City and State of New York (including Roger Kahn, author of Boys of Summer) made an offer to the club which was turned down, despite being larger than the eventual sale price.

Construction on Dodger Stadium was completed in time for Opening Day 1962. With its clean, simple lines and its picturesque setting amid hills and palm trees, the ballpark quickly became an icon of the Dodgers and their new California lifestyle, and it remains one of the most highly-regarded stadiums in baseball even today. Despite the fact that the Dodgers have played in Dodger Stadium longer than they had played in Ebbett's Field, the stadium remains surprisingly fresh. O'Malley was determined that there would not be a bad seat in the house, achieving this by cantilevered grandstands that have since been widely imitated. More importantly for the team, the stadium's spacious dimensions, along with other factors, gave defense an advantage over offense, and the Dodgers moved to take advantage of this by assembling a team that would excel with its pitching.

The core of the team's success in the 1960s was the dominant pitching tandem of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, who combined to win 4 of the 5 Cy Young Awards from 1962 to 1966, during a time in which only one award was given to the top pitcher from either of the two major leagues. Top pitching also came from Claude Osteen, an aging Johnny Podres, and reliever Ron Perranoski. The hitting attack, on the other hand, was not impressive, and much of the offensive spark came from the exploits of speedy shortstop Maury Wills, who led the league in stolen bases every year from 1960 to 1965, and set a modern record with 104 thefts in 1962. The Dodgers' strategy was once described as follows: "Wills hits a single, steals second, and takes third on a grounder. A sacrifice fly brings him home. Koufax or Drysdale pitches a shutout, and the Dodgers win 1-0." Although few games followed this model exactly, the Dodgers nevertheless tallied a high proportion of wins in a low-scoring manner that relied on their pitching and defense rather than their offense - with the exception of a few seasons. For example, in 1962, Tommy Davis lead the Major Leagues with 153 RBI, and he lead the National League in batting average and in hits. Seasons of over 150 RBI are quite rare by a player in modern-day pro baseball. Davis led the league in batting twice for the Dodgers.

The 1962 pennant race ended in a tie, and the Dodgers were defeated by the archrival Giants in the tie-breaking playoff, but the Dodgers proceeded to win the pennant in three of the next four years. The 1963 World Series was a four-game sweep of the Yankees, in which the Dodgers were so dominant that the vaunted Bronx Bombers never even took a lead against Koufax, Podres, and Drysdale. After an injury-plagued 1964, the Dodgers bounced back to win the 1965 World Series in a seven games against the Minnesota Twins. Game one happened to fall on the Yom Kippur holy day, and Koufax (who is Jewish) refused to pitch on that day, a decision for which he was widely praised. The Dodgers rebounded from losing the first two games, with Koufax pitching shutouts in Games five and seven (with only two days rest in between) to win the crown and the World Series MVP Award.

The Dodgers again won the pennant in 1966, but the team was running out of gas, and it was swept in the World Series by the upstart Baltimore Orioles. Koufax retired that winter, with his career cut short by arthritis in the elbow of his pitching arm, and Maury Wills was traded away. Don Drysdale continued to be effective, setting a record with six consecutive shutouts in 1968, but he finished with just a 14 - 12 record due to the Dodgers' poor hitting that year.

While the Dodgers were sub-par for several seasons thereafter, a new core of young talent was developing in their farm system. They won another pennant in 1974, and although they were quickly dismissed by the dynastic Oakland Athletics in the World Series, it was a sign of good things to come.

For 23 years, beginning in 1954, the Dodgers had been managed by Walter Alston, a quiet and unflappable man who commanded great respect from his players. Alston's tenure is the third-longest in baseball history for a manager with a single team, after Connie Mack and John McGraw. His retirement near the end of the 1976 season, after winning 7 pennants and 4 World Series titles over his career, cleared the way for an entirely different personality to take the helm of the Dodgers.

Tommy Lasorda was a 49-year-old former minor-league pitcher who had been the team's top coach under Alston, and before that had been manager of the Dodgers' top minor league team. He was colorful and gregarious, an enthusiastic cheerleader in contrast to Alston's taciturn demeanor. He quickly became a larger-than-life personality, associating with Frank Sinatra and other celebrities, with a penchant for eating Italian food in large volumes. He became well-known for sayings such as, "If you cut me, I bleed Dodger blue," and for referring to God as "the Great Dodger in the sky." Although some considered his persona to be a schtick and found it wearing, his enthusiasm won him a reputation as an "ambassador for baseball," and it is impossible to think of the Dodgers from the late '70s to the early '90s without thinking of Lasorda.

Another transition had recently occurred, higher up in the Dodgers management. Walter O'Malley passed control of the team to his son Peter, who would continue to oversee the Dodgers on his family's behalf through 1998.

New blood had also been injected into the team on the field. The core of the team was now the infield, composed of Steve Garvey (1B), Davey Lopes (2B), Bill Russell (SS), and Ron Cey (3B). These four remained in the starting lineup together from 1973 to 1981, longer than any other infield foursome in baseball history. The pitching staff remained strong, anchored by Don Sutton and Tommy John. The Dodgers won NL West titles in both 1977 and 1978, and defeated the Philadelphia Phillies both years in the National League Championship Series, only to be defeated in the World Series both years by the Yankees. In 1980, they swept a three game series from the Houston Astros in the final weekend of the regular season (including Don Sutton's brilliant save) and were in a first place tie in the National League West, but lost to the Astros 7-1 in the one-game playoff.

The Opening Day starting pitcher for 1981 was a 20-year-old rookie from Mexico: Fernando Valenzuela. Pressed into service due to an injury to Jerry Reuss, Valenzuela pitched a shutout that day, and proceeded to win his first 8 decisions through mid-May. The youthful left-hander, speaking only Spanish but sporting a devastating screwball, became a sensation. “Fernandomania” gripped both Southern California, where huge crowds turned out to see him pitch, as well as in his home country of Mexico, where the number of radio stations that carried Dodger games increased that year from three stations to 17. Valenzuela became the only pitcher ever to be named Rookie of the Year and win the Cy Young Award in the same season. The Dodgers' torrid start assured them of a playoff berth in the strike-shortened split season. After defeating the Montreal Expos with the help of a ninth-inning two-out home run by Rick Monday in the fifth and deciding game of the National League Championship Series they proceeded to defeat the Yankees in the World Series in six games, with the World Series MVP award split three ways among Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager.

The Dodgers won NL West titles in 1983 and 1985, but lost in the NLCS both those years (to the Phillies and Cardinals, respectively). The 1985 NLCS was particularly memorable for Game 6, in which the Dodgers were protecting a 5-4 lead in the ninth inning, hoping to force a deciding seventh game. With two runners on and first base open, Lasorda elected not to walk Cards slugger Jack Clark, who proceeded to hit a home run off Tom Niedenfuer and send St. Louis to the World Series.

After seven years of high strikeout totals, and a 21-win season in 1986, Valenzuela sat out for most of the 1988 season. Plagued by arm troubles that were widely blamed on his being overused by Lasorda, his effectiveness faded before he turned 30. The new anchor of the pitching staff was a right-hander named Orel Hershiser. He had been given the nickname "Bulldog" by Lasorda, more as a hopeful motivational tool than an objective description of his personality, but by 1988 he had matured into one of baseball's most effective pitchers. That year he won 23 games and the Cy Young Award, and broke Don Drysdale's major league record by tossing 59 consecutive scoreless innings, ending with a 10-inning shutout on his final start of the season.

The 1988 Championship won by the Dodgers is all the more magical for the fact that the Dodgers were not expected to compete. They enjoyed career years from several players, and were inspired by the fiery intensity of newcomer Kirk Gibson (the league's Most Valuable Player that year), as well as the quiet but steady Hershiser and the always ebullient Lasorda. Although they entered the NLCS as decided underdogs to the powerful New York Mets, who they were 1-10 against during the regular season, the Dodgers prevailed in a back-and-forth series that went the entire seven games and saw Hershiser come on for the save in game 4. The World Series matched them with an even more powerful opponent, the Oakland Athletics, who owned baseball's best regular-season record with 104 wins against only 58 defeats. Featuring the "Bash Brothers" duo of Mark McGwire and José Canseco, the A's took an early lead in Game 1 on a grand slam by Canseco, and led 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. With two outs, pinch-hitter Mike Davis drew a base on balls from formidable closer Dennis Eckersley. During Davis' at-bat, Lasorda had the light-hitting infielder Dave Anderson on deck so the Athletics would pitch to Davis more carefully. Then, Gibson, hobbled by injuries to both his legs that included a strained MCL and a severely pulled hamstring, came in to pinch hit. After fighting off several pitches and working the count full, Gibson got the backdoor slider he was looking for and pulled it into the right field pavilion for a two-run, walk-off home run, winning the game for the Dodgers, 5-4. Widely considered one of the most memorable and improbable home runs in baseball history, Gibson's dramatic home run was his only appearance of the entire series, and it set the tone for the following four games. Hershiser dominated the Athletics in Games 2 and 5, and was on the mound when the Dodgers completed their stunning 4 games to 1 upset of the A's, capping off an incredible personal season by being named the Series MVP. Few remember that the Dodgers were so injury riddled during their World Series appearance. They won the Series in Game 5 with lifetime reserves Danny Heep and Mickey Hatcher in the starting lineup.

After 1988, the Dodgers did not win another postseason game until 2004, though they did reach the playoffs in 1995 and 1996, narrowly missed in 1991 and 1997, and led the NL West when the end of the 1994 season was cancelled by a strike. Hershiser, like Valenzuela before him, suffered an arm injury in 1990, and he never regained the production he had earlier in his career. From 1992 to 1996, five consecutive Dodgers were named Rookie of the Year: Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raúl Mondesí, Hideo Nomo, and Todd Hollandsworth, which is a record. After nearly 20 years at the helm, Lasorda retired in 1996, though he still remained with the Dodgers as an executive vice-president. He was replaced as manager by longtime Dodgers shortstop Bill Russell.

Nearly a half-century of unusual stability (only two managers 1954–1996, owned by a single family 1950-1998) finally came to an end. After L.A. city officials rejected a proposal to bring an NFL stadium and franchise to Chavez Ravine in 1998, the O'Malley family sold the Dodgers to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, owner of the Fox network (which also owns broadcast rights to MLB games) and 20th Century Fox. Among the new ownership's early moves were trading away popular catcher Piazza, and replacing Russell with veteran manager Davey Johnson. Johnson's volatile tenure ended two years later, and he was followed as manager by Jim Tracy. Fox made the first changes to the home uniform since the club moved from Brooklyn and introduced the team's first alternate jersey and cap, adding silver to the team's official colors (although they have rarely been used since). The team became more steady on the field in the early 2000s, with four consecutive winning seasons under the leadership of manager Tracy, starting pitcher Chan Ho Park, slugger Shawn Green, third baseman Adrián Beltré, and catcher Paul Lo Duca. The 2002 season was marked by the emergence of Éric Gagné as one of baseball's top relief pitchers. Gagné later won the Cy Young Award in 2003, converting all 55 of his save opportunities that year, and holding the league to a 1.20 ERA and striking out 137 batters in 82 1/3 innings. Gagné would later establish a new major league record for consecutive saves, with 84 saves spanning parts of the 2002, 2003 and 2004 seasons.

In 2004, the Dodgers were returned to family ownership, as News Corp sold the team to Boston real estate developer Frank McCourt. McCourt immediately hired Paul DePodesta as his new general manager, replacing Dan Evans. As an assistant general manager in Oakland under Billy Beane, DePodesta favored a highly statistical approach to evaluating prospects and potential free-agents. This sabermetric approach, widely publicized in the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis, led many to believe that new owner McCourt was unwilling to pay for high priced talent, and would thus reduce the Dodgers to a status similar to small-market teams such as Oakland. With a team largely assembled by DePodesta's predecessors, and augmented by some acquisitions of his own, DePodesta saw the Dodgers near the top of the standings through much of 2004. In an effort to put the team over the top that year, DePodesta pulled off a number of mid-season trades, including sending away three key players (including popular team leader LoDuca), while obtaining several new players. The Dodgers did manage to win the NL West in 2004, but bowed out quickly in four games in the Division Series to the eventual National League champion St. Louis Cardinals.

During the winter of 2004-05, the team parted ways with several more longtime players, including Beltré and Green. Their replacements included starting pitcher Derek Lowe, outfielder J. D. Drew, and the run-producing, but aging second baseman Jeff Kent. DePodesta's radical overhaul did not bear fruit in 2005, as the Dodgers suffered from clubhouse strife and stifling injuries, finishing with their second-worst record in Los Angeles history. The club also faced an overwhelming number of injuries that quickly scuttled the team's hopes of repeating as division champions. Among them were Drew's broken wrist, All-Star shortstop Cesar Izturis's injury that required Tommy John Surgery, and closer Gagné's deteriorating elbow condition that would also require surgery and force him to miss much of the 2005 season. Manager Jim Tracy also parted ways with the team at the end of the 2005 season, citing irreconcilable differences with DePodesta. However, DePodesta himself was fired by McCourt less than a month later, with McCourt later citing DePodesta's lack of leadership and personal skills. Ned Colletti was hired as the new Dodger GM on November 16, 2005.

Newly hired Ned Colletti was responsible for a tangible change in attitude and guided the Dodgers' resurgence in the 2006 season. He hired former Red Sox manager Grady Little to lead the team and also traded oft-troubled Milton Bradley for rookie phenom Andre Ethier. His off season acquisitions also included former Atlanta Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal and former Red Sox third baseman Bill Mueller. Coletti also signed former All-Star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, even though the team already had two other former All-Star shortstops (Furcal and the then-injured Cesar Izturis). Garciaparra agreed to play first base and adjusted quite well in the field and remained productive at the plate, producing several key hits in Dodger victories.

Due to the crowded infield, untimely injuries and several players' lack of production, the team was rebuilt during the season. The flurry of trading saw Cesar Izturis go to the Chicago Cubs for Greg Maddux while Willy Aybar and Danys Baez went to Atlanta for Wilson Betemit. A series of rookies were called up and provided substantial everyday contributions. Among them were catcher Russell Martin, who won the starting catching job after being called up in May and starting pitcher Chad Billingsley, who had several quality starts in August and September. Andre Ethier led the team in batting with a .308 batting average as the team's everyday left fielder through much of the season. Rookie first baseman James Loney hit very well in his short time with the team, tying Gil Hodges’ 56-year-old Dodgers record with 9 RBI in one game on September 28. Another key move was handing the closer's role to rookie (but Japanese League veteran) Takashi Saito, where he flourished, notching 24 saves in 26 opportunities while posting a 2.07 ERA.

After a heated pennant race, in which the most memorable moment occurred when the Dodgers hit four consecutive home runs on September 18 to tie the score in the ninth inning and then won the game on a tenth-inning walk-off homer by Nomar Garciaparra, the Dodgers entered the 2006 playoffs in the National League's Wild Card spot, having tied the San Diego Padres for the division lead but having lost 13 of 18 head-to-head meetings with the Padres. They were eventually swept, 3-0, by the New York Mets in the 2006 National League Division Series.

In 2007, the Los Angeles Dodgers sent three players (Brad Penny, Takashi Saito, and Russell Martin) to the all-star game, and at one point, the Dodgers had a record of 54-41, which was then the best record in the National League. After a hitting slump, the Dodgers fell to 60-59, and seven games out of first place in the N.L. West. The Dodgers were able to rebound, however, and had a 79-69 record with three weeks left in the season. At this point, the Dodgers trailed the San Diego Padres by 1 1/2 games in the wild card slot, and the Arizona Diamondbacks by 3 1/2 games. However, the Dodgers lost 10 of their next 11 games, which eliminated the Dodgers from post season play, and would finish the season with a disappointing 82-80 record. The last few weeks of the season were disrupted further by public complaints in the media by some of the veteran ballplayers about the lack of respect afforded them by some of the younger players on the team. This led to a divided clubhouse, as younger players consistently got more playing time at the expense of the veterans. After the season and weeks of media speculation, Grady Little resigned as manager, citing personal reasons . A few days later, on November 1, 2007, the Dodgers announced the hiring of former New York Yankees skipper Joe Torre to be the team's new manager.

At the start of the season, Joe Torre found himself with a whole new team, including new players Andruw Jones and Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda. To add to his troubles, Don Mattingly was unable to perform his hitting coach duties, and third basemen Nomar Garciaparra and Andy LaRoche were out with injuries, leaving the only third-base candidate to rookie Blake DeWitt. DeWitt stepped up early, when Nomar went down again with a calf injury. The team suffered a serious blow when star player Rafael Furcal was injured in the midst of the best start of his career. Many substitutions were used, including rookies Chin-Lung Hu and Luis Maza, but could not duplicate Furcal's offense. Staff ace Brad Penny and slugger Jones began to underperform, leading to trips to the DL for both. Despite the problems with the roster, as well as their record, the Dodgers were only behind first-place Arizona by one game at the All-Star break. To bolster a lineup of mostly young players, Ned Colleti made trades for shortstop Angel Berroa, third-baseman Casey Blake, and on July 31, 2008 the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired outfielder Manny Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox in a 3-way deal that sent third baseman Andy LaRoche and single-A prospect pitcher Bryan Morris to the Pittsburgh Pirates and all-star outfielder Jason Bay to the Red Sox. The season saw progress in the teams prospects, including a call-up for top prospect Clayton Kershaw, as well as comebacks from veteran pitchers, most notably Chan Ho Park. Chad Billingsley quickly grew to be the team's ace, being one of the leaders in strikeouts and ERA and being the first pitcher on the Dodgers to get double-digit wins. For the majority of the season, the club has hovered around a .500 record. When Brad Penny struggled after coming off the DL, the club re-acquired Greg Maddux from San Diego. After playing more than 140 games of catch-up, the Dodgers swept Arizona to take first place in the last series of the season for the two teams on September 7 after being 4 games behind the week before. The team had to deal with injuries for the bulk of the season, including Furcal and Penny as well as All-Star closer Takashi Saito and Jeff Kent. The Dodgers clinched the 2008 National League Western Division title on September 25 as the Arizona Diamondbacks were eliminated by losing to the St. Louis Cardinals 12-3. On October 4, 2008 they beat the Cubs 3-0 to sweep the 2008 NLDS and moved on to the NLCS, where they faced the Philadelphia Phillies and were eliminated, losing the series 4-1.

On January 1, 2008, The Dodgers kicked off their 50th year in Los Angeles by building a float for the 119th annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA. The riders on the float contained past and current Dodgers, including Tom Lasorda, Nomar Garciaparra, Don Newcombe, Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Garvey, Eric Karros, James Loney, Takashi Saito, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Brad Penny. Also on the float was Vin Scully, the Dodgers announcer of 59 years and the Dodgers organist, Nancy Bea Hefley.

The Dodgers have been groundbreaking in their signing of players from Asia; namely, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Former owner Peter O'Malley began reaching out in 1980 by starting clinics in China and Korea, building baseball fields in two Chinese cities, and in 1998 becoming the first major league team to open an office in Asia. The Dodgers were the first team to start a Japanese player in recent history, pitcher Hideo Nomo, a Korean player, pitcher Chan Ho Park, and the first Taiwanese player, Chin-Feng Chen. In addition, they were the first team to send out three Asian pitchers, from different Asian countries, in one game, Chan Ho Park, Hong-Chih Kuo, and Takashi Saito. In the 2008 season the Dodgers currently have the most Asian players on its roster of any major league team with five. They include Japanese pitchers Takashi Saito and Hiroki Kuroda; Korean pitcher Chan Ho Park; and Taiwanese pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo and infielder Chin-Lung Hu.

The Dodgers uniforms have remained relatively unchanged for almost 70 years. The home jersey is white with Dodgers written in script across the chest in blue. The word Dodgers was first used on the front of the teams home jersey in 1933, and the uniform was white with red pinstripes and the Brooklyn stylized B on the left shoulder. Since 1952 the team has had a red uniform number under the Dodgers script. The road jersey is gray with Los Angeles written in script across the chest in blue. The road jerseys also have a red uniform number under the script. The Dodgers have worn the current uniforms on the field since 1939 with only minor cosmetic changes. The most obvious of these is the removal of "Brooklyn" from the road jerseys and the replacement of the stylized "B" with the interlocking "L.A." on the caps in 1958. In 1970 the Dodgers removed the city name from the road jerseys and had Dodgers on both the home and away uniforms. The city script returned to the road jerseys in 1999. Also in 1999 the tradition rich Dodgers flirted with an alternate uniform for the first time since 1944 (when all blue satin uniforms were introduced). These 1999 alternate jerseys had a royal blue top with the Dodgers script in white across the chest and the red number on the front. These were worn with white pants and a new Dodger cap complete with a silver brim, silver top button and silver Dodger logo. These alternates proved unpopular and the team abandoned them after only one season just as they did 55 years earlier with the blue satin uniforms.

The Dodgers were the first MLB team to attract more than 3 million fans in a season (in 1978), and accomplished that feat 6 more times before any other franchise did it once. On July 3, 2007, Dodgers management announced that total franchise attendance, dating back to 1901, had reached 175 million, a record for all professional sports.

The Dodgers also recently set the world record for the greatest attendance for a single baseball game during an exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in honor of the Dodgers 50th anniversary in Los Angeles with over 115,000 fans in attendance. All proceeds from the game benefitted the official charity of the Dodgers, ThinkCure! which supports cancer research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and City of Hope.

Vin Scully began broadcasting for the then Brooklyn ball club during the 1950 season and is a beloved figure among the fans to this very day. In 1976, he was selected by Dodgers fans as the Most Memorable Personality (on the field or off) in the team's history. He is also a recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters (inducted in 1982). He currently is in his 59th year with the team.

As noted above, Vin Scully has called Dodgers games since 1950. His longtime partners were Jerry Doggett (1956-1987) and Ross Porter (1977-2004). Unlike the modern style in which multiple sportscasters have an on-air conversation (usually with one functioning as play-by-play announcer and the other(s) as color commentator), Scully and Doggett and Porter generally called games solo, trading with each other inning-by-inning. In the 1980s and 90s, Scully would call the entire radio broadcast except for the 3rd and 7th inning; allowing the other Dodger commentators to broadcast an inning.

Scully continues to call Dodgers games without a color commentator.

When Doggett retired after the 1987 season, he was replaced by Hall-of-Fame Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale, who previously broadcast games for the crosstown California Angels. Drysdale died in his hotel room following a heart attack before a game in 1993, resulting in a very difficult broadcast for Scully and Porter, who were told of the death but could not mention in on-air until Drysdale' family had been notified and the official announcement of the death made. He was replaced by former Dodgers outfielder Rick Monday. Porter's tenure was terminated somewhat controversially after the 2004 season, after which the current format of play-by-play announcers and color commentators was installed, led by newcomer Charley Steiner as well as Scully and Monday.

Today, Scully calls a limited schedule of games (all home games and road games in NL West ballparks) for both flagship radio station KABC and television outlets KCAL-TV and FSN Prime Ticket. Scully is simulcast for the first three innings of each of his appearances, then announces only for the TV audience.

If Scully is calling the game, Charley Steiner takes over play-by-play on radio beginning with the fourth inning, with Rick Monday as color commentator. If Scully is not calling the game, Steiner and Steve Lyons call the entire game on television while Monday (now as play-by-play) and Jerry Reuss do the same on radio.

In the event the Dodgers are in post-season play, Scully calls the first three and last three innings of the radio broadcast alone; with Charley Steiner and Rick Monday handling the middle innings.

The Dodgers also broadcast on radio in Spanish, and the play-by-play is handled by another Ford C. Frick Award winner, Jaime Jarrin. Jarrin has been with the Dodgers since 1959. The color analyst for some games is former Dodger pitcher Fernando Valenzuela, for whom Jarrin once translated post-game interviews. The Spanish-language flagship is KHJ.

Live traffic reports pertaining to Dodger Stadium are broadcast from the Dodgers Transportation Center inside the ballpark. KABC radio's Captain Jorge Jarrin (son of Dodger broadcaster Jaime Jarrin) and Doug Dunlap handle those duties during the pre-game and post-game shows as well as during Dodger Talk following the game.

In 2006, the Dodgers introduced an on demand channel on Time Warner Cable called "Dodgers on Demand", hosted by Tony Kinkela.

Currently, Steiner has been converted to radio-only with Rick Monday. Jerry Reuss was removed from his broadcast position, though he is still with the club to serve in other aspects. Steve Lyons will be retained as a color-commentator, and the Dodgers are currently looking for a play-by-play announcer to replace Steiner on road games for television.

From the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958, the Dodgers employed a handful of well-known public address announcers; the most famous of which was John Ramsey, who served as the PA voice of the Dodgers from 1958 until his retirement in 1982; as well as announcing at other venerable Los Angeles venues, including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena, and the Forum. Ramsey died in 1990.

Dennis Packer, Nick Nickson, Pete Arbogast and Mike Carlucci also served as Dodger Stadium announcers following Ramsey's retirement. Packer and Arbogast were emulators of John Ramsey, using the same style of announcing Ramsey was famous for. Arbogast won the job on the day that Ramsey died in 1989, by doing a verbatim immitation of Ramsey's opening and closing remarks that were standard at each game.

The current Dodgers public address announcer is Eric Smith.

The following Hall of Famers played and/or managed for the Dodgers, and are listed with the years they were with the club. Those denoted in bold are depicted on their Hall of Fame plaques wearing a Brooklyn or Los Angeles cap insignia.

Though he is not officially recognized as an inducted member of the Hall of Fame, Vin Scully is permanently honored in the Hall's "Scribes & Mikemen" exhibit as a result of winning the Ford C. Frick Award in 1982.

Since 1997, Robinson's #42 has been retired throughout Major League Baseball in honor of his breaking the color barrier in 1947. Robinson is the only major league baseball player to have this honor bestowed upon him. He spent his entire career with the Dodgers, who retired his number in 1972.

Because the MLB decided to grandfather the use of the number 42 out of the game, New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera still wears the number as he is the only active player who wore the number before it was retired across all of Major League Baseball.

Koufax, Campanella, and Robinson were the first Dodgers to have their numbers retired. They were all retired in a ceremony at Dodger Stadium on June 4, 1972.

Gilliam died suddenly in 1978 at the age of 49, after a 28-year career with the Dodgers organization. The Dodgers retired his number two days after his death, prior to Game 1 of the 1978 World Series, making him the only non-Hall-of-Famer to have his number retired by the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have not issued #34 since the departure of Fernando Valenzuela in 1991, although it has not been officially retired. Steve Garvey's #6 was not reissued for 19 years until it was given to Dante Bichette in spring training of 2002 and was not worn during a regular season game until Ron Coomer wore it in 2003.

Since 1884, the Dodgers have used a total of 29 Managers. Joe Torre, the current Manager of the Dodgers, has held the position since 2008.

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Source : Wikipedia