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Dodgers Stadium History

Charles Ebbets hired a new manager for 1906, Patsy Donovan, who had been a player in the majors since 1890 and a player-manager since 1897. With some strong pitching from Bill "Doc" Scanlan (18-13), consistent hitting by Harry Lumley (.324), and power from Tim Jordan (12 home runs, the most in the NL that year), the team edged back to fifth place. Their record, however, was still below .500 (66-86), and they ended up a full 50 games behind the pennant-winning Chicago Cubs, who boasted the famed Tinker-to-Evers-to Chance double-play combination and the amazing, if unorthodox, pitching of Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown. The Dodgers added a great pitcher of their own the following year when they signed 22-year-old rookie Nap Rucker. Rucker won 134 games for Brooklyn over the next 10 years and posted a career ERA of 2.42. Still, the Dodgers languished in the second division; in fact, they remained there until 1915, putting together a disappointing string of 12 years below the first division level. Patsy Donovan remained at the helm for only three years; that First ­year finish of fifth had turned out to be his best. He was followed by the one-year appearance of Harry Lumley, who could edge Brooklyn no higher than sixth, and then the four-year term of Bill Darleen, a shortstop who had been bouncing around the National League since 1891 (including a tour with Brooklyn from 1899 through 1903).



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In 1914 Robinson began what would be the longest tenure of any Brooklyn manager, 18 years, and a record which stood until Walt Alston came along 40 years later. With Uncle Robbie, still another nick­name for the Brooklyn ball club emerged-no longer Grooms, Dodgers, or Superbas, they would now be called the "Robins." Robinson felt that he had a team whose talents were capable of producing a winner his maiden year, but those they just hadn't yet learned how to do it together. He was basically correct. They came in fifth in 1914, still playing below .500, but the good signs were there: their 75 wins that year were the most since 1902. Four players hit above .300. Jake Dauber’s .329 was the league's best, and it was the second year in a row he had captured the NL batting crown. Average in 1913 had won him the honor of becom­ing the first Brooklyn player ever to lead tile league in batting, and the first to be named the National League's Most Valuable player.) His offensive efforts were bolstered by Zack Wheat and Jack Dalton, who both hit .319, and Casey Stengel, who batted .316. On the mound, jell Fifer turned in a sterling per­formance, winning 23 and losing only 12.The next year, 1915, Brooklyn broke into the first division, finally producing a record better than .500 (80-72).

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The third place finish was the best since 1902.It was 1916, however, that became the year to remember at Ebbets Field. Uncle Robbie guided his Robins to their first pennant since 1900, and Brooklyn paid it’s first-ever visit to a World Series. It had been a close race, with the Philadelphia Phillies applying the most pressure. Pitching was the Phil’s' forte, with Grover "Pete" Alexander winning 33 games that year and Eppa Kixey 22. But Brooklyn prevailed by winning 94 games while losing only 60, outdistancing the Phillies by two and one-half games. In the American League, the Boston Red Sox came up a winner, largely because of the pitching of a 21-year-old left-hander in his third major league season: Babe Ruth had won 23 and lost 12 and had posted the lowest ERA in the league, 1.75. By 1920, the face of the Robins had changed, although not drastically. There were still several remnants of the 1916 pennant winners around­ Zack Wheat and Hy Myers in the outfield, Ivy Olson at short, Otto Miller behind the plate, and Jeff Pfeffer on the mound. But there were also some notable newcomers-Ed Konetchy at first, Pete Kilduff at second, Tommy Griffith in right field, and Grimes, Leon Cadore, and A1 Mamaux on the pitching staff. The blend was obviously a good one. Uncle Rohbie's squad of 1920 won Brooklyn its second trip to the World Series, breezing through the season on a record of 93-61, finishing seven games ahead of the Giants. Grimes won 23 games, losing only 11, his win percentage of .676 the best in the league that year. Zack Wheat led the Robins hitters with an average of .328, and Ed Konetchy and Hy Myers both hit above .300 as well. In addition, Mvers contributed 22 triples, the most in the league.

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