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New York Yankees – Los Angeles Dodgers
Yankees Logo  Dodgers Logo
History
First meeting October 1, 1941
Last meeting June 20, 2004
Next meeting June 25-27, 2010
Number of meetings 69
All-time series NYY, 38–31
Regular season series LAD, 2–1
Largest victory 10/15/1978 NYY 12–2
Current streak LAD, 1
Longest NYY win streak 6 games (10/13/1978–10/21/1981)
Longest LAD win streak 5 games (10/23/1981–7/18/2004)
Postseason History
Postseason meetings NYY, 37–29
First meeting 1941 World Series, Yankees won 4 games to 1
Last meeting 1981 World Series, Dodgers won 4 games to 2

The YankeesDodgers rivalry is one of the most well-known rivalries in Major League Baseball. The two teams have met more times than any other pair of teams from the American and National Leagues, and have met each other in eleven World Series. The initial significance was embodied in the two teams' proximity in New York City, when the Dodgers initially played in Brooklyn. After the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, the rivalry retained its significance as the two teams represented the dominant cities on each coast of the United States, and since the 1980s, the two largest cities in the United States.

Although the rivalry's significance arose from the two teams' numerous World Series meetings, the Yankees and Dodgers have not met in the World Series since 1981. They would not play each other in a non-exhibition game until 2004, when they played a 3-game interleague series, and have not played each other in the regular season or postseason since. However, they are scheduled to meet for another interleague series in June 2010.

Contents

History

The rivalry began when the teams first met in the 1941 World Series. In Game 4, Dodgers catcher Mickey Owen's dropped third strike of a sharply breaking curveball (a suspected spitball) pitched by Hugh Casey in the ninth inning led to a Yankees rally and eventually the World Series championship.

Six years later, Brooklyn signed Jackie Robinson to not only break the color line but to bolster the lineup. Robinson, along with Duke Snider and Don Newcombe, sparked Brooklyn to four more National League pennants between 1947 and 1953. However, each and every time, the World Series ended in heartbreak as the Dodgers fell to the Yankees, and giving the Dodger fans their rallying-cry "Wait 'til next year!".

Finally, in 1955 the Dodgers reversed matters, prevailing over the Yankees in seven games to win their only World Series in Brooklyn. Brooklyn fell short of repeating the next season, falling in seven games to the Yankees. That year's team suffered some ignominy in being on the losing end of Don Larsen's perfect game in Game 5, which remains to date the only no-hitter ever pitched in postseason play.

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1960s

After the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles for the 1958 season, it would take them two dominating pitchers (Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale), a speedy shortstop (Maury Wills) and a great outfielder (Tommy Davis) to spark them to a pennant in 1963. They swept the aging Yankees (consisting of Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Whitey Ford) in four straight games, with the Bronx Bombers not taking a single lead against the powerful Los Angeles pitching staff in the entire series.

1970s

After 14 years, sophomore manager Tommy Lasorda led a young Dodgers team to the 1977 World Series where they faced Billy Martin and the Yankees. Interestingly enough, the managers had actually gotten into a fist fight during the 1956 season while with the two teams they were now managing [1]. LA featured the best infield in baseball with (Steve Garvey at first, Davey Lopes at second, Ron Cey at third, and Bill Russell at shortstop), slugger Reggie Smith, and a dynamic pitching duo (Don Sutton and Tommy John). As for New York, Martin had slugger Reggie Jackson, defensive geniuses Bucky Dent and Graig Nettles, Cy Young Award-winning closer Sparky Lyle, young pitcher Ron Guidry, and speedsters Willie Randolph and Mickey Rivers. The Dodgers appeared primed to win the Series, but Reggie Jackson put on his "Mr. October" show as he hit three home runs in Game 6 to lead the Yanks to their first World Series championship since 1962.

The next season, the Yankees won their division in thrilling fashion, thanks in large part to a timely home run from Bucky Dent in a one-game playoff against the Boston Red Sox. They then defeated the Kansas City Royals for the second straight year in the American League Championship Series, earning a third straight trip to the World Series where they faced the Dodgers for the second straight year. The Dodgers won the first two games of the Series thanks to rookie pitcher Bob Welch, but New York won the next four to take the 75th Fall Classic.

1980s

In 1981, the fortunes turned in LA's favor, as rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela won National League Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award honors. But the Yankees had American League Rookie of the Year Dave Righetti (who was traded from the Rangers in exchange for Lyle) and daunting closer Rich Gossage. The Yankees won the first two contests, but LA won the next four to claim their first World Series title since 1965.

2000s

After 23 years of not facing the Yankees, LA hosted the Bombers in an interleague weekend series in June 2004 where they took two out of three contests. One ending had closer Éric Gagné strike out Bernie Williams for the final out. The third and final game was the ESPN Sunday Night game that weekend.

The rivalry was renewed when Joe Torre, who led the Yankees to four World Series championships, accepted a three year, $13 million contract to manage the Dodgers on November 1, 2007.[2] He also brought along Don Mattingly and Larry Bowa to his coaching staff. Torre and left fielder Manny Ramirez, who had been a part of the fierce Red Sox – Yankees rivalry before being traded to the Dodgers mid-season, led the Dodgers to the 2008 West Division Pennant. The Yankees failed to make the 2008 Postseason, ending the Yankees' 13 consecutive postseason appearances streak.

In 2009, Torre co-authored a book, The Yankee Years, about his time in New York that criticized principal owner George Steinbrenner and third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

The Yankees and Dodgers will meet again for an interleague series from June 25-27 of 2010, once again at Dodger Stadium.[3]

World Series meetings

The Yankees have dominated the World Series meetings having a record of 8-3.

Year Winner League Games Loser League Games MVP
1941 New York Yankees AL 4 Brooklyn Dodgers NL 1
1947 New York Yankees AL 4 Brooklyn Dodgers NL 3
1949 New York Yankees AL 4 Brooklyn Dodgers NL 1
1952 New York Yankees AL 4 Brooklyn Dodgers NL 3
1953 New York Yankees AL 4 Brooklyn Dodgers NL 2
1955 Brooklyn Dodgers NL 4 New York Yankees AL 3 Johnny Podres
1956 New York Yankees AL 4 Brooklyn Dodgers NL 3 Don Larsen
1963 Los Angeles Dodgers NL 4 New York Yankees AL 0 Sandy Koufax
1977 New York Yankees AL 4 Los Angeles Dodgers NL 2 Reggie Jackson
1978 New York Yankees AL 4 Los Angeles Dodgers NL 2 Bucky Dent
1981 Los Angeles Dodgers NL 4 New York Yankees AL 2 Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager

Historical Facts

Casey Stengel and Joe Torre both share the "Manager" Title with four Major League Teams

Casey Stengel [1]

  • Brooklyn Dodgers 1934-1936
  • Boston Bees/Braves 1938-1943
  • New York Yankees 1949-1960
  • New York Mets 1962-1965

Joe Torre [2]

  • New York Mets 1977-1981
  • Atlanta Braves 1982-1984
  • New York Yankees 1996-2007
  • Los Angeles Dodgers 2008-Present

Players

A list of players who have fueled the rivalry by playing for both teams (add to this list)

  • Tommy John
  • Steve Howe
  • Steve Sax
  • Willie Randolph
  • Darryl Strawberry
  • Kenny Lofton
  • Wilson Betemit
  • Ricky Ledee
  • Gary Sheffield
  • Raul Mondesi
  • Kevin Brown
  • Todd Zeile
  • Alan Mills
  • Jeff Weaver
  • Antonio Osuna
  • David Wells
  • Angel Berroa
  • Scott Proctor
  • Doug Mientkiewicz
  • Esteban Loaiza
  • Robin Ventura
  • Jose Vizcaino
  • Rick Rhoden
  • Stan Williams

References

See also


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