LAD All-Stars 1958 – 1960, the beginning
Fitting that Johnny Podres who pitched the greatest game in Brooklyn Dodger history would be the first all-star selection for the newly minted Los Angeles Dodgers.
1958 – The new west coast version of the Dodgers saw Johny Podres and John Roseboro selected to represent the brand new Los Angeles Dodgers. I was surprised to find out that the hero of the 1955 Brooklyn World Championship team had never been an all-star before. Podres would make three all-star teams for the LAD. Also bizarre to find out that after Podres won game seven in 1955, he didn’t pitch the following year because of a military commitment. Just imagine if Podres had to make the commitment in 1955? I’ll probably need to brush up on biography to find out about how the timing worked out. This was Roseboro’s first full year and his first all-star game. Roseboro was not expected to be the Dodgers full-time catcher in 1958, that was supposed to be HOF Roy Campanella. January 28th, 1958 Campanella had a car accident and was paralysed leaving Roseboro as the starting catcher. Roseboro would go on to make three all-star teams for the LAD. Neither Podres nor Roseboro played in the 1958 all-star game. Talk about a youth movement the LAD in 1958 got 90% of their starts from pitchers 25 years or younger. The yutes may not have made a mark in their first year in Los Angeles but 22-year-old Koufax, 21-year-old Drysdale, 21-year-old Stan Williams, and 25-year-old Johnny Podres were about to make the mark in a big way.
1959 – The 1959 World Champion Dodgers had four all-star selections. Don Drysdale made the first of eight all-star appearances in 1959. Wally Moon would get his first and last all-star selection for the LAD. Former 1953 ROY Junior Jim Gilliam would make his first and last all-star selection for the LAD. Charlie Neal the unsung hero of the 1959 World Champion LAD made the first of two straight all-star teams. Neal would go onto win a gold glove, and garner some MVP votes as well. Don Drysdale started the all-star game and pitched three perfect innings. Wally Moon started in LF but went hitless in two at-bats. Neal never got in the game. But wait, a second game was played!!!! Starting in 1959 MLB decided to play two all-star games. The first was played on July 7th, the second was played on Aug 3rd, and it was played at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Drysdale got the start again, but this time was hammered and took the loss. Junior Jim Gilliam slammed a home run while Neal and Moon went hitless.
1960 – Johnny Podres got his second all-star selection in 1960. Joining him for the 2nd time was Charlie Neal. Stan Williams and Norm Larker got selected for the 1st time. It would also be the last time for both players. Neal was having a horrible year after his sparkling 1959 season. Larker on the other hand was having his career season after replacing Gil Hodges at 1st base. Stan Williams was part of the young guns, but while Don and Sandy would go onto the HOF while pitching exclusively with the Dodgers, Stan would get traded in 1962 to the Yankees. Two games were played once again with no notable performances by any Dodgers. Podres did pitch two adventurous innings in the second game, giving up one hit and three walks but left unscathed.
|Year||All-Star 1||All-Star 2||All-Star 2-4|
|1958|||||Johnny Podres|||||John Roseboro||||
|1959|||||Don Drysdale|||||Wally Moon|||||Jim Gilliam, Charlie Neal|
|1960|||||Johnny Podres|||||Stan Williams|||||Charlie Neal, Norm Larker|