How Often Did the 1960s Dodgers 'Steal' 1-0 Victories?
8 min read
fairly easy
The answer is probably surprisingly less than you would think.
At the beginning of 1962, the Los Angeles Dodgers were poised to become the premier team in baseball's National League, just as their forebears in Brooklyn had been in the years between the end of World War II and the team's move to California (1946-57). Having shed of most of the stars from their glory days in Brooklyn, and ensconced themselves in Dodger Stadium, a brand-new ballpark that favored pitching over slugging, the Dodger squads of the early 1960s seemed ideally suited to their news environment.

Indeed, over the next five years, led by the pitching duo of Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale (who won four Cy Young Awards between them from 1962-65) and speedster Maury Wills (who captured six straight stolen base titles from 1960-65), the Dodgers captured three National League pennants, missed a fourth title by a single game, and brought home two World Series championships.

With our tendency to reduce memories to simple, easily-remembered nuggets, those mid-1960s Dodgers squads are now usually recalled as the "Koufax-Drysdale-Wills" Dodgers, nomenclature that reflects the popular image of a weak-hitting team which triumphed by scratching out runs with speed and guile while their two predominant starting pitchers shut down opposing hitters.

Certainly this image is based on reality. During the five-year period from 1962-1965, Dodgers pitchers led the National League in ERA all five years, and Dodgers baserunners led the league in stolen bases for four straight years (and then finished second the fifth year), but in total runs scored the Dodgers offense ranked second, sixth, and then eighth three times (in a 10-team league).

Unfortunately, this bare-bones description obscures that those Dodger teams boasted some very good pitchers other than Koufax and Drysdale (Johnny Podres, Claude Osteen, reliever Ron Perranoski, and future Hall of Famer Don Sutton), some bona fide heavy hitters sluggers (Frank Howard and Tommy Davis), and some fine fielders (catcher John…
Read full article