1947 Brooklyn Dodgers
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1947 Brooklyn Dodgers / Franchise: Los Angeles Dodgers / BR Team Page
Won NL Pennant
History, Comments, Contributions
The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers won the National League pennant and took the 1947 World Series to seven games before bowing to the New York Yankees. However, the team is perhaps most famous for Rookie of the Year Jackie Robinson, who integrated major league baseball when he took the field on Opening Day. He was also fifth in the MVP voting. He hit .297 with a .383 OBP and 125 runs scored, which was second-best in the league. He led the league in stolen bases.
Leo Durocher was the team's manager in spring training and quickly saw Robinson's value as a player, inserting him in the starting line-up at first base (the Dodgers were already set in the middle infield with Pee Wee Reese as shortstop and Eddie Stanky at second). However, just before the start of the season, Commissioner Happy Chandler suspended him for one year for "actions detrimental to baseball" (being seen hanging out with known gamblers). That left GM Branch Rickey in a quandary, as he had no other manager lined up. Coach Clyde Sukeforth agreed to take the reins in the interim, but only until a new manager was found. That lasted for only two games, including the historic Opening Day when Robinson made his debut. Rickey then made a very surprising choice, picking an old friend, Burt Shotton, who had not managed since the 1930s (and had not been particularly successful then). A mild-mannered man who shunned conflict, he managed in street clothes, like Connie Mack, and was thus prohibited from coming onto the field to talk to his players or to argue with umpires. Shotton had started his major league managing career in 1928, and would go on to manage the Dodgers' 1949 pennant winner as well.
The Dodgers played badly in May and as of the middle of June were in fourth place. However, they recovered to win 18 games in June. They were in first place to stay by the end of June and had a very strong July, going 25-8. The St. Louis Cardinals, who had won the 1946 World Series, finished in second place in 1947.
The highest batting average on the team (for players with at least 100 at-bats) was 35-year-old backup Arky Vaughan, who hit .325. He was also the second-oldest player on the team, behind Dixie Walker. Vaughan had a higher OBP and SLG than any of the regulars. Walker and Pete Reiser had the highest OBP's on the team among regulars at .415 while Pee Wee Reese was close at .414.
The team slugging percentage was .384, fifth in the league, and Carl Furillo was the regular with the highest SLG, although Robinson and Reese tied for the team lead in homers with 12. Walker and Robinson had the most doubles, with 31, while rookie Spider Jorgensen and catcher Bruce Edwards tied for the most triples with 8. Walker had the most RBI with 94.
Erv Palica and Tommy Brown, both 19, were the youngest players on the team and both would stay with the team in future years. A couple of other young players, Duke Snider and Gil Hodges, each had fewer than 100 at-bats as they looked for playing time.
Awards and Honors
- All-Stars: Ralph Branca, Bruce Edwards, Pee Wee Reese, Eddie Stanky and Dixie Walker
- Rookie of the Year: Jackie Robinson
|1||New York 5, Brooklyn 3||September 30||73,365|
|2||New York 10, Brooklyn 3||October 1||69,865|
|3||Brooklyn 9, New York 8||October 2||33,098|
|4||Brooklyn 3, New York 2||October 3||33,443|
|5||New York 2, Brooklyn 1||October 4||34,379|
|6||Brooklyn 8, New York 6||October 5||74,065|
|7||New York 5, Brooklyn 2||October 6||71,548|
- Jonathan Eig: Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 2007.
- Roger Kahn: The Era, 1947-1957: When the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers Ruled the World, Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2002 (originally published in 1993). ISBN 0803278055
- Lyle Spatz, ed.: The Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2012. ISBN 978-0803239920
- Lyle Spatz: "Managing the 1947 Dodgers: The 'People's Choice'", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 42, Number 1 (Spring 2013), pp. 63-66.