Recently we asked you, our readers, who you would pick if you could bring one former Dodger out of retirement. With such a storied franchise chock full of elite talent, many of you understandably said it would be almost impossible to pick just one. Of the many responses we received, 220 players were named, and not surprisingly, the top 3 vote-getters from this organization rich in pitching history, were indeed “brothers in arms”. Each of these individuals are legends in the organization and active members of the extended Dodgers alumni family. Their accomplishments on the field are too many to name in a short editorial, so here is a brief look at each of these players still mean to the Dodgers fanbase:
Sandy hands down.. pic.twitter.com/KcMvh1K9rJ
— Gregory Goodman (@BeaTleNuTT0924) January 5, 2020
Sandy Koufax – The ageless Hall of Famer Koufax, who recently celebrated his 84th birthday, is as legendary as they come, and it is no surprise that he was named almost 40% of the time in our informal poll. “The Left Arm of God” will become the first Dodgers pitcher immortalized with a statue at Dodger Stadium when it is unveiled in the summer of 2020 in the new center field entertainment plaza. Koufax, who has become a mentor to the best pitcher of any club over the past decade, can often be seen in a prime seat near the Dodgers dugout, where he has as good of a view as any to the mound where he worked his magic from 1962 until his retirement in 1966.
Orel Hershiser – Orel, a fierce competitor on the mound when he pitched the Dodgers to a World Series championship in his Cy Young Award winning ’88 season, is in many minds (along with his Skipper, Tommy Lasorda) the Ultimate Dodger. His love for the team shines through in everything he does, and though it may be off-putting to some, I personally adore the way he refers to the team as “we” on his broadcasts. He may have left the team as a player in the ’90’s, but he is back to his rightful place in the franchise and he’ll always be lovingly remembered as one of its most endearing personalities.
Fernando Valenzuela – Like Sandy and Orel, Fernando is another beloved Dodger Alumni, even though he too had moved on to other teams in his post-Dodgers career after spawning Fernandomania in the early 80’s. As many lifelong Dodger fans know, the good ones always make their way back to us, and Valenzuela is no exception. He’s been broadcasting Dodgers games in Spanish since 2003, first on radio, then on television with SNLA. When Vin Scully called for a lefty to help with throwing out the first pitch in Game 2 of the 2017 World Series, Fernando was his man.
Reader @Augustine864 also raises a very good point:
Dodgers have had too many great players to pick just one. How about naming a whole roster of retired Dodgers to play again?
— Augustine (@Augustine864) January 5, 2020
Not all organizations could deliver on such a request, but the Dodgers easily can. Of all of the retired players who received votes in this poll, we can field at least one Dream All-Star team. These are the players who received the highest votes by position:
- C – Roy Campanella
- 1B – Steve Garvey
- 2B – Chase Utley
- 3B – Pedro Guerrero
- SS – Maury Wills
- OF – Jackie Robinson, Andre Ethier, Kirk Gibson
- RH Starter – Orel Hershiser
- LH Starter – Sandy Koufax
- Bullpen – Eric Gagne
(I don’t know about you, but I’d pay serious money for the opportunity to see Chase Utley and Sandy Koufax take the field together)
Who are some of your most beloved retired Dodgers? Sound off in the comments below!