Best Players in Dodgers History at Each Position

If you could build the ultimate team, using only Brooklyn and Los Angeles organization players, from the Brooklyn Atlantics in 1884, to the current 2016 Los Angeles Dodgers, what would your line-up look like? Who would you pick?

We at DodgersNation.com have done the homework and research for you. We have based our list on statistical data, World Series won with the team, awards earned, franchise changing effect, and years with the team (longevity).  Here is our list, with some honorable mentions.

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Catcher: Roy “Campy” Campanella (Hall of Fame).  Campy won three Most Valuable Player “MVP” awards as a Dodger.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Piazza (Hall of Fame), Steve Yeager, and Mike Scioscia (World Series Champion as a player and manager).

First Base: Gil Hodges (should be in the Hall of Fame).  Defense.  Homers.  Look it up.

Honorable Mentions: Steve Garvey, Adrian Gonzalez (maybe the inaugural Hall of Fame first baseman for the Dodgers), and Eric Karros.

Second Base: Jackie Robinson (Hall of Fame).  “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”  -Jackie Robinson

Honorable Mentions: Jim Gilliam and Davey Lopes.

Shortstop: Pee Wee Reese (Hall of Fame)

Honorable Mentions: Maury Wills and Bill Russell.

Third Base: Ron Cey, “The Penguin.”

Honorable Mention: Adrián Beltré.

Left Field: Zach “Buck” Wheat (Hall of Fame)

Honorable Mentions: Tommy Davis, Dusty Baker, and Gary Sheffield.

Center Field: Duke Snider (Hall of Fame)

Honorable Mentions: Willie Davis and Matt Kemp.

Right Field: Carl Furillo (two-time All-Star, 15 years with the Dodgers/his entire career, and received MVP votes 8/15 years in the Majors).

Honorable Mentions: Kirk Gibson, Raúl Mondesí, Pedro Guerrero, Reggie Smith, Andre Ethier, Shawn Green and maybe Yasiel Puig if he meets his potential.

Closers: Éric Gagné and Kenley Jansen.

Honorable Mention: Jeff Shaw.

Top Ten Starting Pitchers (the organization has always been rich in pitching):

  1. Sandy Koufax (Hall of Fame)
  2. Don Drysdale (Hall of Fame)
  3. Dazzy Vance (Hall of Fame)
  4. Don Sutton (Hall of Fame)
  5. Clayton Kershaw (placed first (3), second, or third in Cy Young votes 5/8 years in the Majors)
  6. Orel Hershiser (three time All-Star, Cy Young)
  7. Fernando Valenzuela (six time All-Star, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year/same year)
  8. Don Newcombe (four time All-Star, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young/MVP same year)
  9. Burleigh Grimes (Hall of Fame; you probably never heard of him, now you know!)
  10. Nap Rucker (you probably never heard of him, now you know!)

Honorable Mentions: Brickyard Kennedy (guaranteed you never heard of him before, now you know), Hideo Nomo (first Japanese pitcher to permanently relocate to the Major Leagues), Chan Ho Park (first South Korean-born player in Major League history), Claude Osteen (three time All-Star, 9 years with the team), Ramón Martínez (All-Star, placed top five in Cy Young votes twice, 11 years with the team), and many more.

It is of note that most of the Dodgers organization players listed above were in the top 10-20 of the Wins Above Replacement all-time, although our list was not driven from that statistic.

For good measure, how about the front office All-Stars?

Owner: Walter O’Malley.  Honorable Mention: Mark Walter.

General Manager: Branch Rickey. Honorable Mention: Buzzie Bavasi.

Manager: Walter Alston.  Honorable Mention: Tommy Lasorda.

Announcer: Vin Scully.  Honorable Mentions: Jaime Jarrín and Red Barber.

The Dodgers organization has such a rich history.  We are sure some names have been left off that you care about, which is really just a numbers game.  We cannot include everyone in a best-of-the-best list.  You are encouraged to look up the stats for all of these players and even those players not included.  The best part of this exercise: to see the history, statistics, and different generations.

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Jeremy Evans

Jeremy M. Evans is the Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele. Evans is an award-winning attorney and industry leader based in Los Angeles.


  1. How do you leave out Branch Ricky as top owner? The father of baseball’s minor league system.

  2. Jeremy, These lists are always fun and controversial. Thanks for putting it out there. I think your list is a good one but my Manager is Tommy Lasorda Mr Bleeds Dodger Blue.
    I know Pee Wee Reese is in the HOF but my SS will ALWAYS be Maurry Wills who should be in the Hall. He changed the way baseball was played and excited me as a kid and cemented my love for the Dodgers. Cannot tell you how exciting it was the year he broke the stolen base record. Listening on the Radio To Vin give you his World’s Eye View of Maury on first and everyone in the stands and at home knowing he was going to steal. It was incredible theater. Also those were the days of Koufax and Drysdale so a Maury walk or bunt a steal and then a hit or another steal and the Dodgers would win 1-0 or 2-1.
    As I never saw Campy and agree with his top rating my catcher will always be Piazza. A guy that was a low draft choice and worked his way to the HOF. That terrible trade broke many of our Hearts and never forgave them for it. May those guys rot. Scioscia was a great catcher and we all loved him for his grit and style of play but Piazza was incredible with the bat and worked very hard to make himself a decent catcher.
    The most dominant pitchers to wear Dodger Blue I ever saw were Koufax, Drysdale, Hershiser, Fernando Valenzuela and Pedro Martinez. What an incredibly bad trade that was YIKES…
    The most dominant pitchers I ever saw in person were Koufax and Gibson…
    Cey deserves third base but the best third baseman was as you have mentioned Adrian Beltre. What a bad decision to let him go…
    Thanks for the reminding me to take a stroll down memory lane.

  3. Tmaxster TM, I agree with you on Maury Wills. I’ve never seen Reese but my dad always mentioned how fundamentally sound he was. But I can’t imagine anyone impacting an offense like Wills did. As you mentioned how he could score and give Koufax that one run that he normally needed. He could score without a hit or error. I don’t know about Zach Wheat, but give me Tommy Davis in left field. If not for Wills breaking Ty Cobbs record, Davis would have been MVP in 62. Also after winning two consecutive batting titles Tommy probably would have done it again if not for breaking his ankle. He was a pure hitter. I would think that Brooklyn Dodger fans will choose Campy as best catcher, but those in LA will choose  Piazza. Because only Yogi and Campy won three MVP’S, I will take Campy. I did forget that Ricky was GM and not owner. My dad had told me that he was a minority owner, and was forced out by OMalley.

  4. Robert Hamilton  Tmaxster I too had heard that Rickey was a minority owner. I agree with you on Tommy Davis I was listening to the game he broke his ankle. He was an amazing pure hitter. What a player he was. These days they would have fixed it. It is a shame as he was just getting going. As I did not see Snider in his glory years I would say that Tommy Davis was the best outfielder I ever saw wearing Dodger Blue. Kemp was very good also but Tommy was one of those special ones. 
    And yes Piazza because as I said he worked hard to be such an incredible hitter. It was pure sweat to be a good catcher. The guys is/was special. I am so glad he made it into the Hall. Maury needs to go in.

  5. Tmaxster Robert Hamilton TM, you said what I started to, and that is Tommy Davis was the best that I saw also. Now days we see our hitters from one thru five at bat when all we need is for them to make contact, and what do they do? Strike out. Tommy constantly hit the ball, and hit it hard to all fields. Plus he could really run. With wills, and Jr Gilliam hitting before Tommy, you had guys whom seldom struck out…..We spoke of Ricky and OMalley, and I also heard that the reason for Jackie Robinson being traded to the hated Giants was because Robinson spoke out about Ricky’s departure. That is my beef with OMalley. Along with him trading Ricky’s signee  Roberto Clemente. I read your posts TM  because I usually learn something, or remember something that i’ve forgotten, sense it’s clear that we witnessed greatness together concerning the Dodgers. Since I live in Chicago, news from my team was always  challenging.

  6. Mike Marshall – 1 year done — best closer was Jim Brewer — look it up from 1968-1973 —
    The best OF with the glove in LA Dodgers history was Willie Davis — those 3 errors in the 66 series were an anomaly — he got to balls that Mays could have never gotten — From 1968-1975 there was not a better CF in baseball —
    But Snider deserves the nod because of his power – but 3-Dog would be my starter in LA —
    Pee Wee is the greatest SS in Dodgers history and Wills a close 2nd …
    Roseboro should be an honorable mention at C …
    My team :
    1B Hodges (B) Garvey (LA)
    2B Robinson (B) Lopes (LA)
    SS Reese (B) Wills (LA)
    3B Gilliam (B) Cey (LA)
    LF Wheat (B) TDavis (LA)
    CF Snider (B) WDavis (3-Dog) LA
    RF Furillo (B) RSmith (LA)
    C. Campanella (B) Roseboro (LA)
    Koufax Drysdale Sutton Osteen Hershiser
    Perranoski and Jim Brewer

  7. OK Pee Wee Reese had a 269 BA with a 366 OBP Wills had a 281 BA with a 331 OBP so pretty clsoe there but Wills changed the game of baseball as it was played at that time. He should have been the MVP one year. And should be in the HOF… So nope don’t give that Pee Wee Reese crap it is Maury all the way.
    Relievers I saw Peronaski and Brewer play live and the reliever that was the most dominant was Eric Gagne. Period and he has the numbers to prove it. For the time he was on while pitching for the Dodgers he was close to un hittable.
    If you wan the best that played the position which is what I think this should be then Beltre is at 3rd he will be in the HOF. 
    And for the tragically short time he played before he broke his ankle Tommy Davis was the best hitter and outfielder. Davis the one year hit 346 and came back at 326 he was dominant.

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