On this date 60 years ago, the Dodgers hired manager Walter Alston to replace Chuck Dressen. Alston played just one game in the major leagues before becoming a minor league manager.
Alston would go on to become the most successful manager in Dodgers’ franchise history, winning four World Series in 23 seasons. He was known for returning each season on a one-year contract. In his first season, the Dodgers finished 92-62 but failed to reach the World Series. Alston won his first World Series with the team in his second season in 1955 over the New York Yankees.
He would also manage the Dodgers to World Series victories in 1959, 1963 and 1965. Overall, the Dodgers won seven National League pennants under Alston. His record in his 23 seasons was 2,040-1,613 and his teams finished in first or second 15 times. Alston was named Manager of the Year six times in his career and was the winning manager of seven All-Star games.
He was known for his calm demeanor and was even nicknamed “The Quiet Man” for his attitude at the helm of the Dodgers. Alston retired after the 1976 season after a 90-68 record. Tommy Lasorda became the manager after Alston and led the Dodgers to two more World Series titles.
After his retirement, Alston had his number 24 retired by the Dodgers the season after he retired. It was just the fourth number retired by the team and in 1983, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame but couldn’t attend the ceremony due to a heart attack. His grandson filled in and accepted the honor on Alston’s behalf.
On October 1, 1984, Alston passed away at a hospital in Oxford due to continued complications after the heart attack. The L.A. Times named Alston number 16 on a list of the 20 Greatest Dodgers of All-Time. Back in his home state of Ohio, he had a highway named after him in 1999.
ICYMI: Here’s what Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson had to say about the Dodgers last week.