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The All-Time Dodgers Roster and Lineup with Analysis and Polls

Dodgers
Oct 25, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers former player Fernando Valenzuela (34) pitches the ceremonial first pitch before game two of the 2017 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Dodgers have a historic franchise, filled with and Hall of Famers. From old timers like Dazzy Vance and Zack Wheat, to current players like Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen, there’s over a century worth of Dodger greats, from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

But who’s the greatest of the great? If you had to construct a 25-man roster from the greatest Dodgers of all time, who would make the squad?

That’s a hard task, but we took a shot at it. Below is our all-time Dodgers team, made up of a regular 25-man roster like you’d see today.

Before the team is revealed, some clarifications should be made. First, players were chosen by their peak years with the Dodgers. How they fared with other clubs over their career had no determination on selection. Also, a requirement was set that a player must have played at least five seasons with the Dodgers organization. In this sense, we selected the most “Dodger-like” players. Those being the ones who spent a majority of their baseball career, or at least a large portion of it, with the organization.

The five-year rule prevented us from taking guys like Pedro Martinez, Greg Maddux, and Eddie Murray, who are all Hall of Fame players, but did not spend much, if any, of their prime years with the Dodgers. This rule also means that players like Jeff Kent, Gary Sheffield, and yes, even Kirk Gibson, were ineligible.

So, with all that being said, here is your all time Dodgers team, with both 25-man and 40 man roster (you know, for when roster size expands in September.)

Manager: Tommy LaSorda / Bench Coach: Walter Alston

Catcher: Roy Campanella

1st Base: Gil Hodges

2nd Base: Jackie Robinson

3rd Base: Ron Cey

Shortstop: Pee Wee Reese

Left field: Zack Wheat

Center field: Duke Snider

Right field: Carl Furillo

DH (when applicable): Mike Piazza

Projected Batting Order w/ DH:  1. Jackie Robinson, 2. Zack Wheat, 3. Mike Piazza, 4. Duke Snider, 5. Roy Campanella, 6. Gil Hodges, 7. Carl Furillo, 8. Ron Cey, 9. Pee Wee Reese

Projected Batting Order w/o DH:  1. Jackie Robinson, 2. Zack Wheat, 3. Roy Campanella, 4. Duke Snider, 5. Gil Hodges, 6. Carl Furillo, 7. Ron Cey, 8. Pee Wee Reese, 9. Pitchers spot

Deciding on a starting eight players wasn’t easy. Maybe the toughest choice was catcher, where the Dodgers have two of the best ever at that position in Mike Piazza and Roy Campanella. A slight edge goes to Campanella because of his defense, but Piazza put up insane offensive numbers over those first five years with L.A, averaging an OPS of .981 and an OBP never lower than .370 in any of those seasons. Both guys can rotate from game to game, and they would give the Dodgers two unbelievable catching options.

Another tough call was the outfield, where there were plenty of options to choose from. We went with Zack Wheat and Carl Furillo alongside the obvious Duke Snider. Wheat was one of the best hitter of his time with a lifetime .317/.367/.450 slash line, and Furillo was a staple in the Dodgers’ lineup for over a decade during the late 1940s to late 1950s.

Bench: Mike Piazza, Steve Garvey, Maury Wills, Pedro Guerrero, Raul Mondesi, Shawn Green

Going with only six bench players, and you’ll see why when we get down to the pitchers. More tough choices here. Garvey over Eric Karros was close. Green gets the nod as the fifth outfielder off the bench over Babe Herman. Mondesi’s power and great defense gave him the edge over other options like Willie Davis, Dusty Baker, ect. Maury Wills was a very close choice over Davey Lopes as the backup middle infielder, but his incredible speed was the difference. Guerrero’s versatility, and ability to play multiple positions (OF, 3B, 1B) helped him earn the final spot.

Starting Pitching Rotation: Sandy Koufax, Clayton Kershaw, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton, Orel Hershiser, Fernando Valenzuela

That’s right, we’re going with a six man rotation. When you have the options like you do here, why not? It’ll give everyone an extra rest day and keep them fresh. And you can always move Fernando or Orel to the bullpen for a game or two, if needed. Good luck to opposing offenses trying to scores runs of these guys.

Bullpen: Eric Gagne, Kenley Jansen, Don Newcombe, Dazzy Vance, Claude Osteen

This is why we went with the extra bench player and only five relievers. First off, those starters are more than likely going to be handling business and going late into games. Probably won’t need too many long relief guys. And with Gagne and Jansen, you pretty much make it a 7-inning game. Who actually closes the games out and who pitches the 8th doesn’t really matter. Both are dominant. Newcombe and Vance are starters moved to relief roles. Osteen was the choice as the lone lefty, over others great options like Johnny Podres, Jerry Reuss, and Preacher Roe. Pedro Baez just misses the cut.

Players added to expanded 40-man roster: Eric Karros, Davey Lopes, Jim Gilliam, Adrian Beltre, Babe Herman, Willie Davis, Matt Kemp

Kevin Brown, Burt Hooton, Johnny Podres, Preacher Roe, Tommy John, Ramon Martinez, Jerry Reuss, Bob Welch

When we expand the roster to 40 players, we get to add a plethora of other great Dodgers players, who would add considerable depth to the roster.

The Dodgers have an incredible all-time team here, and I’d have no problem putting it up against any other team’s all-time squad. Giants, Yankees, Red Sox, whoever. Bring it.

Below you can check out some of the polls about the roster and see where all the fans sided.

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Written by Brian Robitaille

Originally from Southern California, and currently stationed in Northern Virginia, Brian is a devoted Dodgers fan, and has been since he was a kid. He's an Active Duty member of the U.S Air Force, and has been serving for the last 16 years. While he loves all things sports related, and supports all his teams (Lakers, Steelers, L.A Kings, & USC) his true passion is the Dodgers, and loves writing about the boys in blue.

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    • Sutton was in the starting rotation, but the miss on Marshall is glaring. Replace Osteen with him.

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