September 27th, 2012

Changing of the Guard

September 27, 1976 – After 23 seasons with Brooklyn and Los Angeles, Walter Alston announced his retirement as Dodger manager. Alston was a manager in the Dodger farm system when he was tabbed by Walter O’Malley to replace Charlie Dressen, whose teams had won pennants in 1952 and 1953. But Dressen sent a letter to O’Malley, requesting a multi-year contract. O’Malley told Dressen it wasn’t club policy to give a manager a multi-year deal, so Dressen left for the Pacific Coast League’s Oakland Oaks. Alston’s retirement occurred on the 40th anniversary of his only Major League at-bat as a reserve first baseman with the 1936 St. Louis Cardinals. Alston struck out against Cubs pitcher Lon Warneke. Alston guided the Dodgers to championships in 1955, 1959, 1963 and 1965.