The 10 Best Dodgers Players Of All-Time

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clayton kershaw

Who are the 10 best Dodgers players of all time? That’s a loaded question for a franchise stocked with Hall of Famers.

But it’s fun to compile a subjective list. To narrow the field, we’ll select players from 1958 on, when the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles.

Perhaps MLB Hall of Famers Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson will appear in a future discussion.

We’ll also eliminate great players who spent limited time here, like Eddie Murray and Greg Maddux. Hall of Famers, yes, but not on this list.

Here we go:

10. Willie Davis

The only Los Angeles Dodger with more than 2,000 hits. His 2,091 knocks highlighted 14 years of service. He was productive in the middle of the lineup, helping the Dodgers win World  Series championships in 1963 and 1965.

9. Maury Wills

It’s not just being the first man to surpass 100 steals in a season, with 104, in 1962. He captured a league MVP that year and personified the Dodgers’ small-ball credo during that era: a Wills walk, stolen base and two groundouts could give the Dodgers a run without a hit. That was often enough for a stingy pitching staff. The sparkplug on two World Series champions and one pennant winner.

8. Eric Karros

Five seasons of 30 or more home runs.  Five seasons of more than 100 RBI. Productive power hitter in the middle of the lineup with 270 homers as a Dodger, tops among modern-day players.

Strong power numbers with 976 RBI, second only to Steve Garvey in this category. Only drawback was that his teams couldn’t get into the World Series. Prime years were from 1995-2000.

7. Orel Hershiser

How much is one year worth? Perhaps a lot. Hershiser had an epic 1988 season, winning the Cy Young with a 23-8 mark with a 2.26 ERA. He led the league in complete  games (15) and shutouts (8.)

That was also the year he broke Don Drysdale’s record for consecutive scoreless innings, with 59. In the 1988 NLCS against the New York Mets, “Bulldog”  notched a save in Game 4 and a shutout in Game 7. He then won two games in the World Series as the Dodgers upended the Oakland A’s.

The rest of his career was good, as he had a 3.12 ERA with the Dodgers. But that year was great.

6. Don Sutton

Nobody has won more games in a Dodger uniform. He has 233. Sutton also has the record for shutouts, 52. He threw more innings, 3816, than anyone.

He bumped his way to 324 wins despite only one 20-victory campaign. His ERA of 3.09 is higher than others, but his WHIP of 1.12 is excellent. He’s in the MLB Hall of Fame.

5. Mike Piazza

The greatest hitting catcher of all time. 

His 390 career homers are more than any backstop in history.

For the Dodgers, he had a career average of .331. 

 He topped a .300 batting average for a crazy six consecutive seasons with the Dodgers.  In 1997, he had 40 homers and 124 RBI. He batted. 362. He had 201 hits, second for a catcher all-time to Joe Torre, who once had 203. The next year he “fell off” to .362. 

Yeah, he makes the list. And he’s in the Hall of Fame.

4. Don Drysdale

Had 209 wins as a Dodger with a sterling 49 shutouts, second only to Don Sutton. Notched a World  Series victory in 1963 and 1965 as the Dodgers won both Fall Classics. Had an ERA of 2.63 in 1963 and 2.77 in 1965. Best year was actually 1964, when he had a WHIP under 1.

Won 25 games in 1962 and 23 in 1965.

Intimidating. A strong No. 2 to Koufax in the 1963-66 period,  which produced three World Series appearances and two team championships. A deserved Hall of Fame member.

3. Steve Garvey

Model of consistency. Top modern-day RBI producer with 992 and an average of .301.  Garvey notched 200-hit seasons six times between 1974 and 1980, averaging 201 hits over that time. Helped lead the Dodgers to NL pennants in 1974, 1977 and 1978, although the team did not win the World Series then.

Was MVP of the 1978 NL Championship Series.

2. Clayton Kershaw

Future Hall of Famer. Three Cy Young Awards. The Cy Young Award and the MVP in 2014. A 1.000 career WHIP, the best among starters in the live-ball era, fourth all-time.

He has led MLB in ERA five times and was the first to do it in four straight years, 2011-2014. WHIP under 1 for five straight years (2013-17). Unreal. Closing in on 200 career victories. Won two games in the 2020 World Series.

An all-time Dodger favorite.

1. Sandy Koufax

Still the Master in a franchise deeply heralded in pitching. From 1962-66, he led the league in ERA each year, averaging 1.95 over that span. He also went 111-34 during that time.

Throw in the WHIP if you can find it. In the last four years of his career, Koufax was below 1.0  each time.

He won the Cy Young awards in 1963, 1965 and 1966, back when it was bestowed upon one pitcher in baseball. Now it’s one from each league.

Won the National League MVP in 1963. Captured two World Series MVP Awards and won four World Series games.

But what might endear him to Dodgers fans forever was the World Series of 1965. He won Games 5 and 7 with shutouts including a 2-0 complete-game finale in Game 7 on two days’ rest against the Minnesota Twins.  Two.

Some feats can’t be matched because they cut his career short. Koufax pitched 335 innings in 1965 and  323 the next. But then he retired. No pitcher has thrown 300 or more innings in one season since Steve Carlton in 1980.

Youngest player ever selected to the Hall of Fame. Koufax remains a Dodger icon and a symbol of the team’s exquisite pitching reputation.