Los Angeles Dodgers: All-Time Starting Rotation

Christopher BenvieCorrespondent IIJune 7, 2012

Los Angeles Dodgers: All-Time Starting Rotation

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    The Los Angeles Dodgers own one of the richest histories of any franchise in Major League Baseball.

    Since their meager beginnings in Brooklyn, New York, the Dodger franchise has amounted six World Series titles and 21 National League pennants.

    As a whole, the team owns two very impressive pitching records: Eight Cy Young Award winners have pitched for the Dodgers, totaling 10 Cy Young awards.

    Those pitchers are: Don Newcombe, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Mike Marshall, Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser, Eric Gagne and Clayton Kershaw.

    Not to mention the slew of other great pitchers who have come through Los Angeles, such as Jim Bunning, Kevin Brown, Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez to name a few, the team is deep in the historic arms race.

    With that being said, if you had to compile your all-time starting rotation for the blue, who would you chose?

    Here's mine:

Sandy Koufax

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    Though his career only lasted 12 seasons, short by today's standards, Sandy Koufax was one of the most mesmerizing pitchers in baseball history.

    The Hall of Fame southpaw won 165 games while dropping only 87. He led the National League in wins on three separate occasions: 25 in 1963, 26 in '65 and 27 in '66.

    In 1964-65, he led the league in winning percentage with .792 and .765, respectively.

    From 1962 through his final season in 1966, Koufax led the NL in ERA, posting a 2.54, 1.88, 1.74, 2.04 and 1.73 in each season. That would average out to be a 1.99 ERA over his last five seasons. His career ERA was 2.76, an NL-best. 

    Through the first seven years, he posted a 3.97 ERA. When you talk about figuring out your mechanics, Koufax should be the diagram one uses.

    He owns 40 career shutouts and 137 complete games.

    To put that in perspective, he shut out 11 percent of the games he appeared in while finishing 35 percent.

    He is a six-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young Award Winner and was the 1963 National League MVP and was the youngest player to ever be elected in to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

    As if that isn't impressive enough, he was the first pitcher to ever throw four no-hitters, including the eighth perfect game in baseball history.

Don Drysdale

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    Nicknamed "Big D," Don Drysdale spent his entire 14-year career pitching for the Dodgers from 1956 through 1969.

    Drysdale led the National League in wins in 1962 with 25 in the midst of 12 consecutive seasons of winning 12 games or more on his way to 209 career victories. 

    Ever the workhorse, Drysdale led the league in innings pitched with 314.1 in 1962 and 321.1 in 1964 while piling up 3432 total innings during his career.

    Drysdale was an eight time All-Star for the Dodgers and won the 1962 National League Cy Young Award. While he never won and MVP, he did finish twice as a top-five vote recipient, and two other times, received consideration.

    In 1968, Big D set the major league record for scoreless innings while he stockpiled six consecutive shutouts over the course of 58 consecutive scoreless innings.

    He was inducted in to the Hall of Fame in 1984, receiving 78.4 percent of the vote.

Don Sutton

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    Don Sutton spent 23 years playing baseball, with 16 of those seasons occurring with a Dodgers uniform on.

    From 1966 through 1980, Sutton won 11 or more games every year for the Dodgers over that 15-year stretch, highlighted by his 21-win season in 1976.

    The four time All-star led the National League in ERA during the 1980 season with a 2.20, which would be his last season in LA before returning for a swan song in 1988 to retire with the blue.

    He did lead the league in WHIP on three occasions for the Dodgers. First with a 0.913 in 1972, 1.038 in 1975, and lastly, a 0.989 in 1980.

    Sutton is the all-time leader in Dodgers history with 233 wins and 3,816 innings pitched.

    He would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

Orel Hershiser

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    Orel Hershiser spent 13 of his 18 seasons pitching for the Dodgers.

    The three-time All-Star led the National League in wins in 1988, with 23. His 1985 season led the NL with his .864 winning percentage, as he posted a 19-3 record.

    Hershiser led the league twice in shutouts, four in 1984 and eight in 1988 while proving himself to be a reliable workhorse, as he led the league in innings pitched on three separate, yet consecutive occasions with 264.2 in 1987, 267 in '88 and 256.2 in '89.

    During his career in Los Angeles, Orel Hershiser won 135 games.

    In 1988, Hershiser threw 59 consecutive scoreless innings, breaking HOF Dodger Don Drysdale's record set in 1968. He also won the 1988 World Series MVP award when he pitched two complete games, going 2-0 with an even 1.00 ERA.

Clayton Kershaw

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    This was the hardest selection of the piece. Though I easily could have gone with Fernando Valenzuela here, he certainly is proven. I have a strong belief that Kershaw will be Drysdale-esque, spending a good 14-15 years wearing Dodger blue.

    That said, the 24-year-old already owns 51 wins and a Cy Young Award with a matching All-Star game appearance and Gold Glove award.

    To some, Kershaw is the best pitcher in the National League.

    In 2011 he certainly was. He led the league in wins with 21, ERA with a 2.28, 248 strikeouts and a 0.977 WHIP to boot.

    It may be a bit early, but Kershaw has the potential to one day be in Cooperstown.