This Day In Dodgers History: Orel Hershiser Signs Three-Year Contract


When thinking of the great players who have made their mark in Los Angeles Dodgers history, Orel Hershiser is among the names that certainly stands out.

In his sixth year with the Dodgers, “The Bulldog,” affectionally nicknamed by his manager Tommy Lasorda, had his first 20-win season, going 23-8 with a 2.26 ERA — equating to a league-leading 7.1 WAR.

Hershiser also set the MLB record for most consecutive scoreless innings, at 59, which still stands today and won both the Cy Young Award and the Gold Glove in 1988.

After leading the Dodgers to their sixth World series title and winning the World Series MVP Award, Hershiser was rewarded for his efforts when the team re-signed him to a record-setting (at the time) three-year, $7.9 million contract.

Despite having the third-best ERA in 1989 and nearly identical numbers as the pervious year, Hershiser ended the season with a 15-15 record, and the Dodgers finished the year in fourth place in the NL West.

Sadly, 1988 would be the last truly dominant year for The Bulldog in his time with the Dodgers. In 1990, doctors discovered that he had a torn rotator cuff in his throwing arm, which cut his season short.

Hershiser managed to start just four games before having season-ending shoulder reconstruction surgery. He did not return from this until May 29, 1991 and he went on to start 21 games that season.

After the strike-shortened season of 1994, Hershiser became a free agent and signed with the Cleveland Indians. The right-hander pitched in six more seasons — three with the Indians, one with the San Francisco Giants, one with the New York Mets, and a final season in the Majors with the Dodgers.

Hershiser ended his career with a 205-150 record and 3.48 ERA. After his retirement, Hershiser stayed in baseball with a slew of different jobs. In 2001, he worked for ABC and ESPN in 2000-2001 as an announcer for the Little League World Series and Wednesday Night Baseball.

One year later, in June of 2002, Hershisher became the pitching coach for the Texas Rangers, where he stayed until 2005. In 2006, he left the Rangers and rejoined ESPN as an announcer for the Little League World Series and Baseball Tonight.

However, the Dodgers needed announcers with the launching of SportsNet LA in 2014 and they successfully lured The Bulldog back home to Los Angeles.


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