Orel Hershiser's Scoreless Streak and Most Impressive Dodgers Feats Ever
The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the oldest and most storied franchises in all of Major League Baseball.
The team was established back in 1883 under several nicknames before finally becoming the Dodgers in 1932. In 1958 the team made the move out west and became the Los Angeles Dodgers—the team you know and love today.
Through their rich history, fans have witnessed several amazing feats occur before their very eyes. With the current roster holding three players capable of setting their own feats this season: Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw and Andre Ethier, it would feel appropriate to take a stroll down memory lane.
Here you have some of the most impressive feats of the game as recorded by members of your Dodgers.
31 Game Hitting Streak
From August 1st through September 3, 1969, center fielder Willie Davis would go on the single longest hitting streak in the history of the Dodgers.
He would go on to hit safely in 31 consecutive games.
During that time, Davis tore the cover off the ball. In the month of August alone he managed to rack up 50 hits. While only six of them were for extra bases, he did manage to drive in 20 runs while scoring 17 of his own.
If that isn't enough, his batting line for the month of August was .459/.487/.541/1.029, which was absolutely incredible. Whats more, those statistics came from just a 28 of his 31 games.
The No-Hit Club
Statistically, any one pitcher has about a roughly 1-in-1600 chance of throwing a no-hitter any time he takes the mound.
Of course, there is no sure-fire statistic that can definitively prove that number, as far too many variables exist; and frankly, I'm not smart enough to factor all of them in.
That being said, Dodgers' pitchers have thrown 20 no-hitters in their history, four of which belong to Sandy Koufax. Only Nolan Ryan has thrown more (seven).
The other Lost Angeles Dodger pitchers include Bill Singer, Jerry Reuss, Fernando Valenzuela, Kevin Gross, Ramon Martinez and Hideo Nomo.
Those on the Brooklyn Dodgers are: Sal Magile, Carl Erskine (2), Rex Barney, Edward Head, James Carleton, Dazzy Vance, Nap Rucker, Malcolm Eason and Thomas Lovett.
Hitting for the Cycle
Nine times in team history has a player hit for the Cycle.
The only player to do so twice was Floyd Caves (Babe) Herman, the first time occurring on May 18, 1931 and the second time occurring the same season on July 31.
Others in this exclusive club are Tom P. Burn, James Johnston, Dixie Walker, Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges, Wes Parker and most recently by Orlando Hudson in 2009.
Escape from Dodger Stadium
In the history of Dodger Stadium, only four players have hit a homerun out of the park, literally. Sadly, three of those home runs were from opposing players.
The lone Dodger to achieve this feat was Mike Piazza. On September 21, 1997, he hit a towering 478 ft. shot off of the Colorado Rockies Frank Castillo to join this elite club. At the time, he was only the second player (third time) to achieve this feat.
Mark McGwire hit a 483 foot blast to left-center off of Jamie Arnold on May 22, 1999 to become the fourth.
Willie Stargell did it twice for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The first one happens to be the longest homerun ever recorded in Dodger Stadium history. That came on August 5, 1969 against Alan Foster.
Stargell his a 506ft., 6in. blast to right field.
The second time came on May 8, 1973. He hit a 470 bomb to right off of Andy Messersmith.
Four Strikeouts in One Inning
It is a quirky statistic, I know, but interesting nonetheless.
It takes a very unique scenario for this statistic to even be possible. It requires a batter with two strikes on him taking a swing at strike three; however, the catcher does not field the ball cleanly resulting in the runner making it to first base.
The strikeout is recorded, but not the out.
This has occurred four times in Dodger history. The first Dodger to achieve this feat was Pete Richart on April 12, 1962 in the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds.
The second time came from none other than Don Drysdale on April 17, 1965 in the second inning against the Philadelphia Philles.
Third time was the charm for Darren Dreifort on May 22, 2003 in the second inning of his game facing the Colorado Rockies.
The last time happened on September 23, 2006 for Brad Penny as he faced the Arizona Diamondbacks and joined this club in the second inning.
What is an immaculate inning you ask? Well, let me tell you: three batters and three outs on nine strikes.
This feat has occurred only 46 times in the history of Major League Baseball. Four of those times can be claimed by the Dodgers.
The first of which came at the hands of Brooklyn Dodger Pat Ragan in the eighth inning of his October fifth contest in 1914.
The second would be Brooklyn Dodger Dazzy Vance in the second inning of his September 14th outing in 1924.
The final two times belong to Sandy Koufax. Once on June 30, 1962 in the first inning of the game. The second time was on April 18, 1964 in the third inning of that game.
Koufax is only one of three players to achieve this feat twice. The other two players were Lefty Grove and Nolan Ryan.
How does one make a slideshow of Dodger feats and not list Kirk Gibson's homerun from game one of the 1988 World Series?
For those younger fans who don't know (blasphemy) then here it is: on October 15, 1988, at Dodger Stadium, Gibson, came in to pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Gibson entered the game with injuries to both legs. Nevertheless he hit a two-runwalk-off home run off the Oakland Athletics' (and one of my personal favorite players of all time) Dennis Eckersley that won Game 1 for the Dodgers by a score of 5–4.
Scoreless Inning Streak
There are two schools of thought when it comes to Orel Hershiser's magical 1988 season, one of which concludes that his scoreless inning streak (the one in the record books) was over the span of 59 innings.
Quite an impressive feat.
However, those that watched the Dodgers into the playoffs know that he added another eight scoreless innings in game one of the NLCS that year to bring the total up to 68.
Either way you slice it, that was an incredible stretch of sheer dominant pitching.
Overcoming the Odds
In 1947 Jackie Robinson broke the color lines and changed the game forever.
No man in baseball history, let alone Dodger history, overcame more odds than Robinson. For that, there is no better slide to close out with.