While Sunday’s regular-season finale in San Francisco certainly doesn’t have any bearing on what happens in the upcoming NLDS, a victory could cement the 2019 Dodgers in the franchise history books as the squad with the most regular-season wins ever.
Currently, the Dodgers’ 105 wins are tied with the 1953 Brooklyn club for the most victories in franchise history. If you’re familiar with the works of this site, you’ll know the 1953 team is one of those squads we often refer to when looking back on the rich history of the franchise.
In comparison, both the present-day team and the 1953 squad were strikingly similar in the sense that they were offensive powerhouses. Players like Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale were not yet part of the team, but the offensive firepower on the 1953 squad that fronted the Brooklyn attack was unparalleled at the time.
Like several other marks in the MLB history books, though, the 1953 Dodgers could ultimately have an asterisk beside their name because they tallied their 105 wins in only 154 games played. Furthermore, five players from that special squad would eventually be enshrined in the MLB Hall of Fame.
Carl Furillo slashed a phenomenal .344/.393/.580, while adding 21 long balls, 38 doubles and 92 RBI in what was arguably the benchmark campaign of his career. Roy Campanella hit an impressive .312/.395/.611, but most notably tallied 41 home runs, 142 RBI and 103 runs scored. Incredibly, Duke Snider outdid Campanella in the OPS department, posting an insane mark of 1.046. Finishing third in the NL MVP voting behind Campy and Eddie Mathews of the Milwaukee Braves, the Duke ended up hitting .336/.419/.627 with 42 bombs, 38 doubles, 126 RBI and 132 runs scored.
And, keep in mind, this is when many pundits put runs scored and RBI at the top of the statistical hierarchy.
Not to be outdone were Hodges and Robinson, who registered slash lines of .302/.393/.550 and .329/.425/.502, respectively. Hodges added 31 jacks and drove in 122 baserunners while scoring 101 runs of his own.
The 2019 Dodgers don’t have any players who hit for average like the 1953 crew, but they definitely have the sluggers who racked up the power numbers. Similar to Snider, Cody Bellinger leads the team with a 1.033 OPS. Bellinger’s 47 long balls are just two behind the franchise record of 49, a mark set by Shawn Green back in 2001.
Surprisingly, while the 1953 team had exactly three players who jacked 35 or more bombs, so does the 2019 crew, as made evident by Joc Pederson‘s 36 homers and Max Muncy‘s 35. In total the 2019 Dodgers have a whopping 11 players who tallied long balls in the double digits while the 1953 team had just eight.
For all of their regular-season accolades, however, perhaps the biggest disappointment back in 1953 was that the team failed to handle the Yankees in their quest for Brooklyn’s first championship. Consequently, they would wait until the 1955 season to hoist the World Series trophy.
Let’s just hope the 2019 crew fares much better in the playoffs. Considering the final outcomes of the past two years, anything less than a World Series title will probably be considered as disappointing by many.