LAD All-Stars, 1962 – 1969, Koufax, Drysdale, and Wills era

Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale would dominate the golden era of Los Angeles Dodger baseball. The team would appear in three World Series in a span of five years and win two World Championships, and it is possible the best team was the 1962 team which didn’t even get to the World Series.  Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Johnny Podres, Claude Osteen, Maury Wills, Tommy Davis, and Frank Howard pushed these team to greatness.

LAD All-Stars, 1958 – 1961, the beginning
LAD All-Stars, 1970 – 1979, Garvey – Russell – Lopes – Cey era
LAD All-Stars 1980 – 1989, the Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser decade
LAD All-Stars 1990 – 1999, the Mike Piazza era
LAD All-Stars 2000 – 2016, the Clayton Kershaw era

1962 –  The same four from 1961 Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Maury Wills, and John Roseboro were joined by Tommy Davis and  Johnny Podres . This was Podres second selection but the first for Tommie Davis. Tommie Davis would go onto to have one of the greatest seasons ever by a LAD, leading the league in hits with 230, BA at .346, and an amazing RBI total of 153. Tommy could thank Maury Wills for the gaudy RBI totals since the 1962 MVP Wills would steal a record 104 bases and score 130 runs. This was a loaded LAD team, and even though Frank Howard was himself having a monster season he was unable to garner an All-Star selection. Don Drysdale won his only Cy Young award, Maury Wills won the MVP, and Maury, Don, and Tommie Davis would show up in the top five of the MVP vote which was one of the closest in MVP history.  How this team didn’t win the pennant in 1962 could fill a book and probably has.  Don started the first all-star game and pitched three scoreless innings. Tommy Davis started but went hitless in four at-bats. Wills entered the game as a pinch runner for Stan Musial, stole 2nd, and scored the first run of the game on a single by Dick Groat. Wills would end up scoring two runs even though he had only one plate appearance and win the MVP award. The second game was started by Johnny Podres who pitched two scoreless innings.  John Roseboro slugged a home run  off of Milt Pappas in the 9th inning.

1963 – The 1963 World Champion Dodgers had the usual suspects (Sandy, Don, Maury, and Tommy).  At the time it seemed the twenty-four-year-old Tommy Davis was on his way to multiple all-star games but sadly this would be the last time for Tommy Davis.  Tommy would see his production drop in 1964, and then would break his leg in 1965 basically ending his career as a starting player. His 1962 season still stands tall as no Dodger has approached his record RBI total of 153 or hit totals of 230.  Sandy Koufax was on his way to his first Cy Young award, an award he would win three of the next four years. For good measure,  Sandy also won the MVP that year. Frank Howard would once again have a great offensive year but again would not get an all-star selection. Don Drysdale played the role of closer in the all-star game, saving it with two scoreless innings.

1964 – Was the only down year for the Dodgers between 1962 – 1965. It was a period of transition for the rotation but the two perennial all-stars Sandy and Don made it once again. The two-game all-star break had been put to bed and starting in 1963 there would only be one game played. Don Drysdale started one of the most exciting All-star games in history. Don pitched three scoreless innings, but the NL was down 4 -3 in the bottom of the ninth. The NL tied the game, and with two on, Johnny Callison slammed a three-run home run to give the victory to the NL and Juan Marichal.

1965 – The 1965 World Champion Dodgers once again had the big three make the all-star team. Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, and Maury Wills. Maury had a big year and finished 3rd in the MVP voting to Willie Mays and Sandy. Sandy once again won the Cy Young award. In the all-star game,  Don and Sandy pitched back to back without allowing a run. Maury had one hit in four at-bats.

1966 – Sadly this was the last All-Star game for Sandy Koufax. Don didn’t make the team after making four in a row. Maury Wills would get his fifth and final all-star selection. Phil Regan who was called the vulture for winning 14 games as a relief pitcher got his only all-star selection. 1965 ROY second baseman Jim Lefebvre got his first and only all-star selection. Sandy once again won the Cy Young award and came in 2nd in MVP voting.  Phil Regan led the league in games finished while winning 14 and saving 21. His win – loss record was an astounding 14 – 1. Since the Dodgers rarely scored, every time he entered the game it was probably a close game. The Dodgers would win the NL Pennant but they did by scoring only 608 runs, good for eighth place in a ten team league.  Jim Lefebvre hit 24 home runs as a second baseman,  one of most under-appreciated achievements in LAD history given the context of offense at the time and particularly Dodger Stadium.  Sandy started the all-star game and gave up the only run the AL would score. Jim Lefebvre started but it was backup SS Maury Wills who was the hero of the game. Wills would drive home the game-winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning with a single.That is how you do your last all-star at bat. 

1967 – marked a changing of the guard with Sandy retiring and Wills being traded in a front office dispute.  When someone asks how the current version of the Dodgers would be without Clayton Kershaw, you can look at 1967 for something close to an answer.  Don Drysdale was selected for the seventh time and was joined by first-time all-star selection Claude Osteen. Claude had joined the team in 1965 in one of the Dodgers biggest trades which saw them move multiple players to the Senators for Claude. Claude was instrumental in the Dodgers winning the 1965 World Championship pitching the Dodgers to victory in game six  with the team down 3 games to two. The All-star game went fifteen innings and Don Drysdale become the winning pitcher when the NL won 2 – 1. Claude Osteen was the only pitcher not used.

1968 – Don Drysdale was selected for the eighth and final time. Joining Big D was Tom Haller a player the Dodgers had traded for the prior winter.  Haller had been an All-star for the Giants in 1966 and 1967, so this marked his 3rd straight all-star selection. It would be Hallers last selection. Big D would set the major league scoreless inning streak by going 58 straight innings. A mark that would later get broken by future Dodger Orel Hershiser.  Don Drysdale would start and win the game once again by pitching three scoreless innings. The game’s final score was 1 -0.

1969 – Bill Singer was the lone Dodger representative on a team that had a lot of above average but no great position players.  This would be the only all-star appearance for Singer as a Dodger. He would later make one as an Angel after the Dodgers traded him in one of the few trades between the Dodgers and Angels. Singer pitched two scoreless innings in his all-star game debut.

Year All-Star 1 All-Star 2 All-Star 2-6
1962 | Sandy Koufax | Don Drysdale | Maury Wills, Tommy Davis, John Roseboro, Johnny Podres
1963 | Sandy Koufax | Don Drysdale | Maury Wills, Tommy Davis
1964 | Sandy Koufax | Don Drysdale |
1965 | Sandy Koufax | Don Drysdale | Maury Wills
1966 | Sandy Koufax | Jim Lefebvre | Phil Regan, Maury Wills
1967 | Don Drysdale | Claude Osteen |
1968 Don Drysdale | Tom Haller |
1969 | Bill Singer | |

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