Posted by admin on Mar 30, 2011 in Uncategorized |

The Dodgers-Giants rivalry began in the late 19th century, when both teams were based in New York City. The then-American League Dodgers then were located in Brooklyn, while the National League’s Giants played across town in Manhattan. The two teams first met in an early version of the league championship in 1889. The Dodgers won the first-ever meeting, 12-10, but the Giants won the series, six games to three.

One year after that championship meeting, the Dodgers moved to the National League, and the squads began playing each year. From that point, the rivalry intensified quickly and strongly. In May of that year, the two teams played each other in the first official game, which the Dodgers again won. The first fight between the two teams occurred later that year, when a Dodgers third-base coach pretended to be a base runner to draw a throw to third.

The rivalry continued to grow, and by the early 1900s it also had taken on a personal aspect. The manager of the Dodgers, Willie Robinson, had been fired from the Giants organization by coach John McGraw. That snub added further fuel to the fire and led to some heated episodes during the coaches’ years in charge.

Around the same time, the Dodgers-Giants rivalry took on a more socioconscious air. The Dodgers, based in Brooklyn, saw themselves as the underdogs of New York society, a more working class society. The Giants came to represent the swanky wealth and success of Manhattan, and those cultural differences added a new dimension to the crosstown rivalry.

By the mid-1950s, both teams were playing in outdated stadiums without enough parking. Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley had wanted badly to keep his team in Brooklyn, but discussions with city officials were deteriorating to the point that it seemed impossible. O’Malley had been approached by officials in Los Angeles for several years and, in 1957, he secured a deal to move the team to LA.

The National League decided it would approve O’Malley’s move only if he brought another team with him to California, to provide another West Coast presence in the league. O’Malley convinced Giants owner Horace Stoneham, who originally had wanted to move to Minnesota, to move to San Francisco. In May 1957, the NL owners voted unanimously to allow both teams to move to California.

And so both moved out west together during the offseason, and the rivalry continued. Some of the same cultural differences that divided the teams in New York reinvented themselves in California: Los Angeles was the home of Hollywood and all its glory, while San Francisco considered itself one of the most progressive and cultural cities in the West.

The first day of MLB play on the West Coast occured on April 15, 1958. The Giants won that first matchup, 8-0. Three days later, the Dodgers christened their new stadium, beating San Francisco 6-5.

Since the move, the Dodgers-Giants rivalry has only continued to grow. The two teams have finished near the top of the standings and battled for playoff spots for decades, finishing 1-2 eight times in the National League (before 1968) and seven times in the NL West race (since then).

Because they often finish atop the division standings, frequently one team has found itself knocking the other out of contention for the playoffs — an occurrence the teams’ fans enjoy as much as reaching the playoffs themselves. Since 1980, one team has knocked the other out of the playoffs in the final series of the season five times.

Each squad has 18 pennants and six World Series championships, though the order in which they won them has flipflopped. In New York, the Dodgers won nine pennants and only one championship. The Giants won 14 pennants and five titles. Since the move to California, though, the Dodgers have won another nine pennants and five championships; the Giants, four pennants and one championship (in 2010, the team’s first since 1954).

As the rivalry has grown more long-standing and more heated, Dodgers and Giants players and fans alike have experienced plenty of fights and incidents, some more serious than others.

The first recorded “dispute” between the two teams was in 1890, when Dodgers third base coach Darby O’Brien pretended to be a base runner to draw a throw over to third. The Giants reacted angrily, and the two teams both exploded.

The most notorious incident between the clubs happened in 1965 at an Aug. 22 game in San Francisco. Giants pitcher Juan Marichal had hit two Dodgers batters earlier in the game and, when he came up to bat, chaos ensued. Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax had never been one to retaliate against another pitcher, but Marichal claimed that Los Angeles’ catcher, Johnny Roseboro, was. Marichal said Roseboro’s return throws to Koufax were dangerously close to his head and even had clipped his ear once.

Marichal and Roseboro began to argue, and Marichal hit the catcher on the head with his bat. After that action, both benches cleared, and a brawl began. The Giants’ Willie Mays and Koufax eventually broke up the fight, Mays helping the badly-bleeding Roseboro off the field. Though Roseboro and Marichal eventually became friends (Marichal spoke at Roseboro’s funeral), the incident remains the worst on-field incident in the rivalry’s — and baseball’s — history.

In 1978, San Francisco’s fans — always vocal when Los Angeles was playing in town — became even more so. At one game in May, Dodgers outfielder Reggie Smith went into the stands after a fan that had been throwing things on the field. Three years later, Smith went after another Giants fan in the stands, this time a man who had been verbally taunting him and even threw a batting helmet at him. When Smith jumped into the stands in 1981, he began punching the man and was ejected from the game. The instigator, a man named Michael Dooley, was arrested.

In 1987, Dodgers outfielder Mike Marshall hit a three-run homer against Giants pitcher Scotts Garrelts, enough to seal an L.A. win in an early-season game. As he rounded the bases, he celebrated noisily and gestured at Giants manager Roger Craig and Garrelts. The pitcher responded by sending his next pitch over Dodger catcher Alex Trevino’s head, and the benches cleared. After about a 15-minute brawl, Giants fans threw coins, cups and beer at the Dodgers players as they walked back to their dugout. About 75 fans were ejected, and several were arrested.

The long-standing rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants is one of the most historic and storied rivalries in Major League Baseball. Dating back to the late 19th century, when both teams were based in New York, the rivalry has continued even after moving across the continent.

Unlike many MLB rivalries, in which one team has a vastly superior record or title count, this rivalry always has been rather well matched. The two squads each have six World Series titles and 18 National league pennants, more than any other NL franchise. The Giants have a slight edge in the regular season record, 1,171-1,149 (there also have been 17 ties in the series).

The two NL West squads meet for the first time in the 2011 Major League Baseball season on Thursday, March 31. The Dodgers will host the Giants — the 2010 World Series champions — in the Opening Day matchup. (Article Compliments ESPN ARCHIVES)


Aug 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm

appreciate that brotha!
Feb 1, 2012 at 6:58 pm

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