Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers, usually known as the Dodgers, have had one of the greatest pedigrees in baseball history. They were founded in Brooklyn in 1883 and over the years were known by a multiplicity of Brooklyn names: Atlantics, Grays, Bridegrooms, Grooms, Superbas, Trolley Dodgers, Robins and most famously as the Brooklyn Dodgers as they were known from 1932 until 1957. Before the 1958 season the Dodgers moved across the country to Los Angeles where they played for four seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving to their current home of Dodger Stadium.
The Dodger name has a fascinating history. Apparently the term "Trolley Dodgers" was attached to the Brooklyn ball club due to the complex maze of trolley cars that weaved its way through the borough of Brooklyn. In 1892, the city of Brooklyn – not annexed by New York City until 1898 - began replacing its slow-moving, horse-drawn trolley lines with the faster, more powerful electric trolley lines. Within less than three years, by the end of 1895, electric trolley accidents in Brooklyn had resulted in more than 130 deaths and maimed well over 500 people. Brooklyn's high-profile, the significant number of widely-reported accidents, and a trolley strike in early 1895, combined to create a strong association in the public's mind between Brooklyn and trolley dodging.
Over the years the Dodgers have enjoyed enormous success; one World Series (1955) whilst still in Brooklyn and another five (1959 1963 1965 1981 and 1988) in Los Angeles. In addition the Dodgers have won no fewer than 21 league pennants and 14 West Division titles.
The Dodgers have been responsible for setting some amazing “firsts” in baseball. To mention just a few: they were the first MLB team to employ and start an African-American player in the 20th century when Jackie Robinson joined their ranks. In 1997, 50 years after he broke the color barrier and 25 years after the Dodgers retired his number, Robinson's No.42 was retired throughout Major League Baseball. Robinson is the only major league baseball player to have this honor bestowed upon him. Starting in the 2007 season, Jackie Robinson Day (April 15, commemorating Opening Day of Robinson's rookie season of 1947) has featured many or all players and coaches wearing the number 42 as a tribute to Robinson.
When they moved to California, they were the first West Coast team together with the San Francisco Giants. They were the first to have their games shown on TV (1939), the first to employ batting helmets (1941), and the first to have numbers on the front of their uniforms (1952). They held the record for the largest home-opener attendance: 78,672 (1958) but this has since been broken by the Colorado Rockies in 1993. They still hold the record for the largest single game attendance: of 115,300 (2008) which is a World Record.
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