November 2012

Trading Places

November 29, 1966 – The Dodgers trade two-time batting champion Tommy Davis and outfielder Derrell Griffith to the New York Mets in exchange for outfielder Jim Hickman and infielder Ron Hunt. The Davis trade is one of many roster moves for the reigning N.L. champions. Sandy Koufax retired during the offseason after winning 27 games during the regular season because of arthritis in his left elbow. Shortstop Maury Wills was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates because he left the team early during its goodwill tour of Japan. The Dodgers later reacquire Wills in June 1969 in a trade with the expansion Montreal Expos.

The First Cy Young Award

November 27, 1956 – A week after winning N.L. MVP honors, Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe receives the inaugural Cy Young Memorial Award​ after leading the Dodgers with 27 victories during the regular season. Newcombe, who also won the N.L. Rookie of the Year in 1949, was the only MLB player to win baseball’s top three postseason awards until Detroit’s Justin Verlander in 2011. The Cy Young Award was given to one pitcher among the two leagues until 1967 when a pitcher from each league was selected. Other Dodger Cy Young Award winners include Don Drysdale (1962), Sandy Koufax, (1963-65-66), Mike Marshall (1974), Fernando Valenzuela (1881), Orel Hershiser (1988), Eric Gagne (2003) and Clayton Kershaw (2011).

Moose and Mister Ed

November 26, 1962 – The Dodgers trade pitcher Stan Williams to the New York Yankees in exchange for first baseman Bill “Moose” Skowron. The veteran will spend only one year in Los Angeles, but it was memorable as the Dodgers won the 1963 World Series and Skowron hit a home run in Game 2 at Yankee Stadium as Los Angeles completed a four-game sweep. Skowron also appeared with his teammates on a 1963 TV episode of “Mister Ed” filmed at Dodger Stadium. The talking-horse character tries out for the Dodgers, but doesn’t make the team, lamenting “they’ve got a Moose!”

Joe Black

November 21, 1952 – Receiving 19 of 24 first place votes, Brooklyn Dodger pitcher Joe Black is selected as the National League’s Rookie of the Year. Hoyt Wilhelm, Dick Groat and Eddie Mathews also garner first place votes. At age 28, Black was 15-4 with a 2.15 ERA and 15 saves in 1952 to help the Dodgers win the pennant. Black was 30-12 in his Major League career from 1952-57.

PCL Dreams

November 20, 1953 – Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick states his belief that the Pacific Coast League will eventually reach major league status. The PCL is the only minor league in history to be given the “Open” classification, considered a step above the AAA level, that limited the rights of big league clubs to draft players from it teams, and is perceived as a precursor to the the circuit becoming a third major league. As a backup plan for their negotations with New York officials for a new ballpark, the Brooklyn Dodgers in February 1957 will acquire the “territorial rights” to the Southern California market from Chicago Cubs owner Phil Wrigley, who also owns the PCL Los Angeles Angels. The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles prior to the 1958 season.

1966 Japan Trip

November 16, 1966 – The National League champion Dodgers concluded their 18-game postseason tour of Japan. It was the second of three Japan visits by the Dodgers (1956, 1966, 1993). During the trip, Dodger president Walter O’Malley was presented with the high honor for a non-Japanese, the Order of the Sacred Treasure Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon Award for promoting better relations with Japan through baseball.

Ned Colletti

November 15, 2005 – The Dodgers named Ned Colletti as the 10th general manager in Los Angeles history. The Dodgers reached the playoffs three times in his first four seasons, the first GM in Dodger history to accomplish that feat. Colletti reached 500 wins as a GM in 2011, hitting the milestone in 953 games, which ranks second among Dodger GMs behind Buzzie Bavasi (895 games), who was the Brooklyn/Los Angeles GM from 1950-68.

Jim Brewer

Former Dodger pitcher Jim Brewer was born on this date in 1937 in Merced, CA. Brewer grew up in Broken Arrow, OK and he pitched for the Dodgers from 1964-75 after a trade from the Chicago Cubs. Brewer went 61-51 with a 2.62 ERA and 125 saves during his Dodger career. He was a Dodger minor league instructor at the time of his passing in an auto accident at age 50 in November 1987.

Eric Gagne

November 13, 2003 – Eric Gagne became the ninth relief pitcher in MLB history to win the Cy Young Award. Gagne went 2-3 with a 1.20 ERA and he converted all 55 save opportunities. Gagne began his career as a starting pitcher and was converted to closer in April 2002. He holds the MLB record for converting 84 consecutive save opportunities between 2002 and 2004.

Kirby Higbe Trade

November 12, 1940 – The Brooklyn Dodgers sent Vito Tamulis, Bill Crouch, Mickey Livingston and $100,000 to the Philadelphia Phillies for pitcher Kirby Higbe. Higbe went 22-9 in 1941 and sparked the Dodgers to their first pennant in 21 years. He played for Brooklyn from 1941-43 and 1946-47 with two years of service in World War II. He was 70-38 as a Dodger and his .648 winning percentage ranks fourth among Dodger pitchers in history with at least 100 decisions.