This is the second of a four-part series that will cover the top 20 moments in Dodgers history. This one will reveal moments #15 – #11 on that all-time list. Part 1 can be found here.
#15. Mike Scioscia’s home run in Game 4 of 1988 NLCS
This moment may get lost in the shuffle a bit, especially considering all that happened during the magical 1988 season. But make no mistake, if Mike Scioscia doesn’t hit his home run in Game 4 of the NLCS, the Dodgers don’t have those other moments. No Kirk Gibson homerun, no Orel Hershiser celebrating on the mound… none of that.
In Game 4, the Dodgers were down by two runs heading into the 9th inning, three outs away from falling into a devastating 3-1 hole in the series. Dwight Gooden had been dominant since the first inning, but he walked the lead-off batter to start the ninth. Scioscia, who was not known for his power at all, came up and drilled one over the right field wall to tie the game. The Dodgers ended up winning the game after a Gibson home run in extra innings and tied the series. Scioscia’s home run saved the Dodgers season and allowed them to continue their improbable championship run in 88’.
#14. Steve Finley’s grand slam wins division
On the second to last day of the regular season in 2004, the Dodgers were one win away from clinching the NL West. But trailing the Giants 3-0 in the 9th inning, they were in danger of having their division lead cut to 1 game and possibly having to play a one-game playoff to reach the post-season.
The Dodgers rallied in the 9th, scoring three runs off the San Francisco bullpen before loading the bases for Steve Finley, who was acquired at the trading deadline that year. Finley launched a towering shot over the right-center field wall for a walk-off grand slam, and the division title. It doesn’t get much better than beating the rival Giants to win the division.
#13. Dodgers retire numbers of Robinson, Koufax, and Campanella
On June 4th, 1972, the Dodgers retired the numbers of three of the greatest players to ever wear the uniform. Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, and Roy Campanella received the honor, and all three were on hand for the ceremony at Dodgers Stadium.
Of the 10 players who have had their number retired by the Dodgers, I’m sure many would consider these guys the top three.
The fact that almost 1/3 of the retired Dodger numbers were done on this one special day, is significant. Also, being able to honor them all together, in-person, was something to cherish and be grateful for. Robinson would pass away just four months later.
#12. Justin Turner’s walk-off home run in 2017 NLCS
Going into Game 2 of the 2017 NLCS, the Dodgers were leading the Chicago Cubs 1-0 in the series. With the scored tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 9th inning, the Dodgers had two on and two out with Justin Turner coming up. Turner hammered a John Lackey offering deep to center for a 3-run home run that won the game and gave the Dodgers a commanding 2-0 series lead. It was the first walk-off home run by a Dodgers player since some guy named Gibson.
#11. Dodgers win 1965 World Series in seven games
The 1965 World Series was a classic, with the Dodgers prevailing over the Minnesota Twins in seven games. In Game 1, Sandy Koufax famously decided not to pitch since it fell on the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur. The Twins took the first two games of the series, beating both Don Drysdale and Koufax, but the Dodgers tied the series by winning games 3 and 4 back in Los Angeles. Koufax then threw a complete game shutout in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series advantage, but the Twins took Game 6 to force a deciding seventh game. Dodgers manager,
Walter Alston, chose to start Koufax on only two days rest in Game 7. All Koufax did was go out and pitch another complete game shutout, giving the Dodgers their fourth championship, and winning his second World Series MVP.
That wraps up the second part of the Dodgers all-time moments list. Be sure to look out for part three, which will cover moments #10 – #6.