Few Major League Baseball franchises have the type of rich history and tradition as the Los Angeles Dodgers. Dating back to their days in Brooklyn, the Dodgers have been a storied franchise with a lot of success and names that would become legendary in America’s pastime.
With the hundreds upon hundreds of those that have worn a Dodgers jersey, though, which ones are indeed the greatest of all time? Here are our picks for the top five Dodgers in franchise history, though not all of them were actually players on the team.
1. Sandy Koufax
Sandy Koufax was nicknamed “The Left Arm of God” for good reason. Starting his career in 1955 when the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn, Koufax took a little bit of time to find his footing as an all-time great. By the time he reached his mid-20s, Koufax had already been in the league for a long time and the 1960s was when he reached his potential.
Koufax became an All-Star for the first time in 1961, posting an 18-13 record with a 3.52 earned run average. He would make the All-Star Team every year for the remainder of his career while also racking up three Cy Young Award wins and was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1963. If it weren’t for arthritis in his throwing arm, Koufax could’ve kept going for years.
2. Jackie Robinson
You can’t tell the story of Major League Baseball without mentioning Jackie Robinson, who broke the league’s color barrier. Robinson was already an established star of the Negro Leagues during the mid-1940s and made his way to the Dodgers in 1947 where he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award.
Robinson spent all 10 of his Major League seasons with the Dodgers before their move to Los Angeles. During his career, he posted a .311 batting average with 137 home runs, 734 runs batted in, and 200 stolen bases to go along with his seven All-Star nods and 1949 Most Valuable Player Award.
3. Clayton Kershaw
By far the youngest player on the list, Clayotn Kershaw was one of those pitchers that were almost Major League ready coming out of high school in 2006. The Dodgers drafted him 7th overall that year, with Kershaw making his MLB debut in 2008. Kershaw became a staple for the Dodgers, and by his fourth season, he won a Cy Young Award for the first time thanks to a 21-5 record and 2.28 earned run average.
Kershaw’s impact on the Dodgers can’t be understated, as he helped the team win their first World Series since 1988 while matching Koufax’s performance of three Cy Youngs and an MVP Award, doing so in 2014.
4. Don Drysdale
The final of the three pitchers on the list is Don Drysdale, who spent his entire 14-season career in Major League Baseball with the Dodgers, making the move to Los Angeles with the team after his second season. Drysdale had an instant impact on the team as a teenager and then became dominant in his 20s.
Over the course of his career, Drysdale pitched an incredible 3,432 innings with a record of 209-166 and an ERA of 2.95. Drysdale was named to the NL All-Star Team nine times, winning three World Series and one Cy Young Award. Like Koufax, he retired at the top of his game due to injury issues.
5. Vin Scully
What would a list of the greatest Dodgers be without mentioning the team’s voice for so long, Vin Scully? Scully served as the play-by-play voice of the Dodgers all the way back in 1950 when the team was playing in Brooklyn and remained in the broadcast booth through the 2016 season.
Scully is an icon, not just for the Dodgers, but for baseball in general. He called several World Series games nationally and was a recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award, a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star, and even the Presidential Medal of Freedom before passing away in 2022 at the age of 94.