The Dodgers have been a fixture in the City of Angels since moving here from Brooklyn, N.Y., for the 1958 season.
With a large and loyal fan base, the team has become an important civic institution, uniting the citizens of a diverse and sprawling region around the national pastime. The team plays its games at Dodger Stadium, a beautiful ballpark nestled in the hills above the city.
Formed in 1883, the team joined the National League in 1890 as the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, so named because seven of the team's players had recently married. The team won the first of its 21 National League pennants in its first season, posting an 86-43 record.
The team went through a host of name changes in their first 40 years (Ward's Wonders, Foutz's Fillies, Hanlon's Superbas) including the Trolley Dodgers, after the maze of trolley cars that crisscrossed Brooklyn. The name was shortened to Dodgers and became permanent in the 1930s.
Brooklyn attorney Walter O'Malley gained control of the team in 1950 and over the next seven years made a number of unsuccessful attempts to build a new stadium in the borough. Frustrated, he moved the Dodgers to Los Angeles for the 1958 season, forever enduring the wrath of Brooklyn baseball fans.
But O'Malley immediately won over Los Angeles, where fans warmly embraced the team. In the Dodgers' second full season here, they beat the Chicago White Sox to win the World Series. Two more World Series championships — a four-game sweep of the Yankees in 1963 and a victory over the Twins in 1965 — soon followed.
In 1970, O'Malley passed the day-to-day management of the team to his son, Peter O'Malley. Over the next three decades, five more World Series appearances followed, two resulting in championships (1981 and 1988).
The Dodgers are a pioneering organization when it comes to diversifying baseball on the field. Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the major leagues, broke baseball's color barrier in 1947. Decades later, Peter O'Malley started baseball clinics in China and South Korea. The Dodgers were the second team to start a Japanese-born player (pitcher Hideo Nomo) and the first team to start a Korean-born player (pitcher Chan Ho Park) and a Taiwanese-born player (outfielder Chin-Feng Chen).
Over the years, the Dodgers developed a storied rivalry with the Giants, first in New York and later in San Francisco when the Giants followed the Dodgers to the West Coast following the 1957 season. The teams have delighted in keeping each other out of the postseason in some legendary games, the Giants KOing the Dodgers in 1951 and 1982, the Dodgers returning the favor in 1993 and 2004.
After one of the most successful runs in professional sports history, Peter O'Malley sold the Dodgers to a unit of media giant News Corp. in 1998. Seven years later, News Corp. sold the team to Frank McCourt of Boston.
Fifty-seven members of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame — players, managers, executives and broadcasters — are affiliated with the Dodgers. They include some of the greatest names in baseball history, including Walter Alston, Roy Campanella, Don Drysdale, Willie Keeler, Sandy Koufax, Tommy Lasorda, Pee Wee Reese, Vin Scully, Duke Snider and Zack Wheat.