Los Angeles Dodgers: Ranking the Dodger Stadium Greats Bobbleheads
This upcoming baseball season will mark the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers will be doing a lot to commemorate all that has occurred inside the ballpark over the course of its existence.
The team will honor the legacy of Chavez Ravine through numerous promotions, including free giveaways—the most anticipated of which is certainly the Dodger Stadium Greats Bobblehead Series.
The bobbleheads are always the most sought-after giveaways at Dodger Stadium, but this year, the free collectibles will be better than ever. The Dodgers have set aside 10 separate dates throughout the season to hand out bobbling figurines of the greats that have taken the field at Dodger Stadium since 1962.
In this slideshow, I will rank the Dodgers greats that are featured in this year’s bobblehead series.
10. Eric Karros
Eric Karros was one of the few bright spots in a rough era in Dodgers history. The 1992 National League Rookie of the Year and the 1995 first base recipient of the Silver Slugger Award, Karros spent 12 seasons as a mainstay in the infield at Chavez Ravine.
Although he was never selected to the All-Star Game and was rarely mentioned among baseball’s elite, Karros finished off his time with the Dodgers as the franchise leader in home runs.
He may not have been an MVP-caliber player, but Karros was reliable and consistent. In fact, he hit about 25 home runs and had a batting average in the upper .200s during his tenure in Dodger blue.
Karros has taken his nice-guy attitude into his retirement and currently works as a commentator for Fox Sports.
On June 28th against the Mets, fans can pick up a bobblehead of this Dodger great.
9. Mike Scioscia
Before Mike Scioscia was the American League Manager of the Year with the Angeles, he was a two-time All-Star with the Dodgers.
During his time with Los Angeles’ senior circuit club, Scioscia was one of the most reliable catchers in the league. He spent his entire 13-year career with the Dodgers, helping Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser put together two of the best pitching seasons of all time, in 1981 and 1988, respectively.
The Dodgers are going to be honoring Scioscia with the credit that he deserves when they give away a bobblehead of him behind the plate this season. It is only fitting that this promotion will occur when he is managing in the visitor’s dugout on June 12th.
8. Kirk Gibson
When you hear the name Kirk Gibson, your mind immediately replays his famous pinch-hit walk-off home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. People tend to forget that Gibson’s career is far more decorated than just his iconic trot around the bases on that fall night in Chavez Ravine.
In fact, Gibson was the National League MVP that very season. That was also not the only clutch home run that he hit, as Gibson took Goose Gossage deep to give the Tigers a comfortable lead in the clinching game of the 1984 World Series.
Gibson is now rising up the ranks in the managerial world. He was finally given the shot to be a skipper in 2010, when he took over the helm in Arizona midway through the season. Last year, he led the Diamondbacks to the playoffs and was crowned the National League Manager of the Year.
7. Orel Hershiser
Orel Hershiser had a long and celebrated career, but like many other Dodger legends, he is most remembered for one thing and one thing only: the 1988 season.
During that magical year, Hershiser put his name in the record books for his dominance on the mound. Before he was selected as the NLCS and World Series MVP, Hershiser strung together a monster regular season, which earned him the Cy Young Award.
Not only did he lead the league with 23 wins, but he also broke Don Drysdale’s long-standing record for the most consecutive scoreless innings pitched at 59.
Hershiser, nicknamed “Bulldog," went on to play until the summer of 2000. At the end of his career, he had 204 wins, a 3.48 ERA and over 2,000 strikeouts. He was also named the 1995 ALCS MVP as a member of the Indians.
Hershiser is currently a member of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball crew. He may never reach the Hall of Fame, but Hershiser will be passed out in bobblehead form on May 15th against the D-backs.
6. Fernando Valenzuela
Last year, the Dodgers gave fans a unique Fernando Valenzuela bobblehead to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Fernandomania.
In 1981, Valenzuela took the baseball world by storm. He won the National League Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year Award and was selected to the All-Star Game for the first time. The strike-shortened season also ended with a World Series title for Valenzuela and Los Angeles.
He never quite recaptured the magic of his rookie season ever again, but Valenzuela pitched a no-hitter in 1990, was still selected to five more All-Star teams and even won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award.
Fernando was regarded as an inspiration to the Latino community during his days on the mound, and now he's the Dodgers’ Spanish-language color commentator. When the Dodgers hand out Valenzuela bobbleheads on August 21st against the Giants, they will be honoring the man and not only his 1981 breakout.
5. "The Infield": Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey
It seems very odd that a team would try to put four players on a bobblehead stand together, but what Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey did together during their time with the Dodgers is just that. These four players made up the Dodger infield every single season from 1973 to 1981, the longest-running infield in baseball history.
They led the team to four West Division titles, four National League pennants and the 1981 World Series championship during their lengthy stay at Chavez Ravine. Every single one of these men put together a fantastic career stat line of their own.
Garvey was the 1974 National League MVP and played the most consecutive games of any NL player ever. Lopes was a four-time All-Star selection. Russell played in the Midsummer Classic three times. And Cey was the co-MVP of the 1981 World Series.
These men will stick together yet another time, when they are handed out to fans in bobblehead form on May 29th against the Brewers.
4. Maury Wills and Don Drysdale
Maury Wills, the stolen base machine, and Don Drysdale, the Hall of Fame hurler, may seem like an odd couple, but they have a lot more in common than one might assume.
Besides being key contributors to the Dodgers’ first three titles in Los Angeles, Wills and Drysdale both put together award-winning seasons in Dodger Stadium's inaugural year of 1962.
During that campaign, Wills set a then-record with 104 stolen bases on his way to winning the National League MVP. For good measure, he won his second consecutive Gold Glove Award and was also the MVP of the All-Star Game that same season.
As for Drysdale, he was the recipient of a Cy Young Award in 1962 after he completed the year with a 25-9 record. He also made the trip to the nation’s capital for the All-Star Game, where he was the starting pitcher for the National League.
These two men were essential to helping Dodger Stadium gain its prestige from the start and are fittingly going to be together for the first bobblehead night of the year on April 28th against the Nationals.
3. Sandy Koufax
There have been a lot of great pitchers to step onto the mound at Chavez Ravine through the years, but there may not be one better than Sandy Koufax.
Despite having his career cut short by injuries after 12 years at the age of 30, Koufax is regarded as one of the most feared southpaws of all time. Koufax was nearly impossible to hit, as he threw four no-hitters, including a perfect game, and led the league in strikeouts on numerous occasions.
He won three Cy Young Awards and was the World Series MVP twice. It came as no surprise that he was elected to the Hall of Fame on his very first ballot in 1972.
Koufax has been the center of a handful of promotions in the past, but he was so spectacular that he should be honored by the franchise forever. When the Dodgers face off with the Rockies on August 7th, the Koufax bobblehead should be a great addition to any fan’s shrine.
2. Tommy Lasorda and Walter Alston
Tommy Lasorda and Walter Alston are, by far, the two greatest Dodgers managers in franchise history.
Alston led the team to its first four titles, winning one in Brooklyn, another during the Dodgers' stint at the Coliseum and the last two in the first five years at their current venue.
As for Lasorda, he started right where his mentor Alston left off. He led the club to its two most recent World Series championships in 1981 and 1988.
Lasorda and Alston are both more than deserving of having their own bobblehead nights, but putting them together is a great idea. Lasorda played for Alston in Brooklyn before joining his coaching staff in the 1970s.
They managed the Dodgers back to back from 1954 to 1996 through the club’s glory years and will be placed together for the team’s promotion on July 14th against the Padres.
1. Vin Scully
Even though some of the greatest players and coaches in baseball history have had the honor of suiting up for the home team at Dodger Stadium, there is no question that Vin Scully is Mr. Dodger.
Finally, after years of keeping a replica of Scully off of their promotional schedule, the Dodgers will pay tribute to their legendary broadcaster with a bobblehead night of his own on August 30th against the Diamondbacks.
Scully is entering his 63rd season as the Dodgers broadcaster, dating all of the way back to the team's days in Brooklyn. He is the only person that has been a key part of the Dodger Stadium experience for its entire 50-year existence.
Although Vin is reaching the end of his career, he has been able to make one of the most painful periods in Los Angeles Dodgers history enjoyable.