On this date back in 1950, the Dodgers found their replacement for Burt Shotton when they hired Chuck Dressen as their new manager. The hiring came after the firing of Shotton and Branch Rickey was forced out of Brooklyn.
In his first season at the helm in 1951, Dressen led the Dodgers to a 97-60 record but failed to reach the World Series as they finished second in the National League after blowing a 12.5 game lead in August. They ended the season tied with the New York Giants and had a best-of-three playoff to determine the NL representative in the World Series. The series went three games and saw the Dodgers leading 4-2 in the ninth inning. The Giants put runners on and Dressen went to the bullpen, bringing in Ralph Branca to face Bobby Thomson. On the second pitch, Thomson hit a home run to left field to give the Giants a 5-4 walk-off victory. The home run became known as “The Shot Heard ‘Round The World” and went down in the history of the the Dodger-Giant rivalry.
In the next two seasons, Dressen led the Dodgers to two NL pennants and two World Series berths. The Dodgers would lose those two World Series to the New York Yankees in seven and six games, respectively. After the 1953 season, Dressen demanded a three-year contract in a time when the Dodgers would only offer their managers one-year deals. Dodger owner Walter O’Malley refused to give in and Dressen was let go as manager. The Dodgers would then go on to hire Walter Alston as their manager.
Dressen finished 298-166 in three years with the team and won two NL pennants. He would go on to manage three different teams in his managerial career but failed to win another pennant. Dressen finished his managerial career with a 1,008-973 record in 16 seasons.