Team History : 1951-1979

1956

1956 Record:
93-61, 1st place; Won National League Pennant
Postseason:
Lost in the World Series to the New York Yankees, 4-3
Manager:
Walter Alston
All-Stars:
Walter Alston, Mgr.; Roy Campanella, C; Jim Gilliam, 2B; Clem Labine, P; Duke Snider, OF
Home Attendance:
1,213,562

Season Recap:

The Dodgers made their last appearance in postseason play in Brooklyn in 1956, losing a heartbreaking World Series to their old nemesis the New York Yankees. After winning the first two games of the Series at Ebbets Field, the Dodgers were swept by New York at Yankee Stadium. In Game 5 on October 8, the Yankees gave the ball to Don Larsen, who used a no wind-up delivery and great pitch location which baffled the Dodger hitters. Larsen threw 97 pitches to record the only perfect game in World Series history, 2-0 over Maglie, who had surrendered only five hits of his own. Pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell, making his final career at-bat, was called out on strikes by umpire Babe Pinelli, also in his last game, to complete Larsen’s masterpiece. The Dodgers evened the Series, 3-3, after Clem Labine’s 1-0, 10-inning victory at Ebbets. Jackie Robinson’s last base hit in baseball won Game 6 of the World Series. But, the final game on October 10 was never in doubt, as the Yankees and Johnny Kucks blanked the Dodgers, 9-0. In 1956, the Dodgers played seven games in Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, NJ, as Walter O’Malley tried to send New York politicians a message that he was serious that an alternative to Ebbets Field had to be identified. The Dodgers would play one game against each N.L. team at Roosevelt Stadium. They had a successful 6-1 mark in Jersey City and drew a total attendance of 148,371 in seven games, an average of 21,196, a 40 percent increase over Ebbets Field’s average of 15,217. Dodger right-handed pitcher Newcombe became the first player to win the Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player Awards in the same season with his dominating 27-7 record. Also a good-hitting pitcher, Newcombe belted seven home runs. With his 1949 Rookie of the Year Award already under his belt, “Newk” is the only player to win all three of these major honors. Because 1955 hero Johnny Podres had to serve his time in the Navy for one year, the Dodgers acquired Sal “The Barber” Maglie from the Cleveland Indians on the May waiver wire and he was a key to the pitching rotation down the stretch. Maglie won a key September 11 game, 4-2 over Milwaukee, enabling the Dodgers to tie for first place. It was the first time since April that they had even a share of the top spot. Two weeks later, on September 25, Maglie beat the Phillies in an important game, but he not only won, 5-0, he hurled a no-hitter. Maglie finished 13-5 in 28 games for Brooklyn and was the runner-up in N.L. MVP balloting. The Dodgers and Newcombe lost to the Phillies the next day and, with three to play, the race with Milwaukee and Cincinnati came down to the final weekend. With the Dodgers beating the Pittsburgh Pirates in a doubleheader on September 28, and the St. Louis Cardinals edging Milwaukee 2-1 in 12 innings that night, the Dodgers surged ahead by one game. The Dodgers were victorious in the final game to clinch the N.L. Pennant by one game over Milwaukee, while the Reds finished two games back. Labine was 10-6, but set a club record with 62 appearances, 59 of those in relief. Center fielder Duke Snider belted a career-high and league-leading 43 home runs to go along with 101 RBI. Jim “Junior” Gilliam led the Dodgers with a .300 batting average, while first baseman Gil Hodges hit 32 home runs and had 87 RBI. Jackie Robinson, 37, played four positions (3B, 1B, 2B and OF) in his final season in baseball, hitting .275 with 10 home runs and 12 stolen bases. The Dodgers traveled to Japan for a goodwill tour to promote friendly relations between the two countries from Oct. 18-Nov. 16, 1956. On the trip sponsored by the Yomiuri Shimbun, the Dodgers were 14-4-1 in the 19-game exhibition schedule. One of the tour’s highlights came when Dodger players and executives traveled to Hiroshima on Nov. 1 and presented a commemorative plaque to officials which read: “1955 World Champions and 1956 National League Champions Brooklyn Dodgers in Japan WE DEDICATE THIS VISIT IN MEMORY OF THOSE BASEBALL FANS AND OTHERS WHO DIED HERE BY ATOMIC ACTION ON AUGUST 6, 1945. MAY THEIR SOULS REST IN PEACE AND WITH GOD’S HELP AND MAN’S RESOLUTION PEACE WILL PREVAIL FOREVER, AMEN.” Robinson was traded to the New York Giants for Dick Littlefield and $35,000 cash on Dec. 13, but refused to play for the rival Giants, vetoing the move and announcing his retirement on Jan. 5, 1957. Robinson would be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame five years later.

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National League Champs!

  • 1956 Dodger YearbookClick image for a larger view1956 Dodger YearbookCopyright © Los Angeles Dodgers, Inc.
  • 1956 World Series Press PinClick image for a larger view1956 World Series Press Pin
  • 1956 DodgersClick image for a larger view1956 DodgersCopyright © Los Angeles Dodgers, Inc.
Below are the Dodger Front Office department heads and personnel, plus scouts who worked for Walter O'Malley.
Dodger Front Office Staff
1956 — Brooklyn
  • President Walter O’Malley
  • Vice President Emil J. Bavasi
  • Vice President Fresco Thompson
  • Assistant General Manager Arthur E. Patterson
  • Business Manager Harold Parrott
  • Jersey City Business Manager Irving Rudd
  • Statistician Allan Roth
  • Traveling Secretary Lee Scott
  • Director of Minor League Operations Fresco Thompson
  • Secretary of Minor League Operations Dick Walsh
  • Purchasing Agent Matt Burns
  • Chief Scout Andy High
  • Manager Walter Alston
  • Club Physician Dr. Eugene Zorn
  • Scouts
  • John Corriden, Special Assignments; Alex Campanis, Director of Dodgertown Operations; Eastern Division: Ed Blonski, Alex Campanis, John Carey, Arthur Dede, Lyle Garnish, Charles Gelbert, Leon Hamilton, Marty Jones, A. B. Karam, Buck Lai, Steve Lembo, John Menzel, Doug Mowry, Pat Murrow, Bill O'Connor, John Piurek, Howard Ruppen, Jim Russell, Harold Southworth, Joe Thomas, Phil Weinert; Midwestern Division: William P. Schweppe, Supervisor; Carl Ackerman, Cliff Alexander, Hugh Alexander, Duce Belford, Pat Dery, Jerry Flathman, Tony John, Marion McDonald, John Pryor, Henry Schultz, Oscar Siemer, Bert Wells: Western Division: Bill Brenzel, Scott Drysdale, Sylvester Johnson, Kenneth Myers, Harold Phillips, Charles Smith