Remember When the LA Dodgers Had 5 Rookie of the Year Winners in a Row?
Since the Rookie of the Year became a thing ahead of the 1947 MLB season, the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers have had a record 18 players take home the prestigious award, twice the number of the New York Yankees, who sit in second place on the all-time list with nine.
The first year the award was handed out, there was just one Rookie of the Year award named for all of Major League Baseball, which was won by the late, great Jackie Robinson. In 1949, when a winner was named in both the American and National League, Dodgers pitcher Don Newcombe took home the award in the Senior Circuit.
During the 1950s, Joe Black and Jim Gilliam won. In the 1960s, Frank Howard, Jim Lefebvre, and Ted Sizemore were given the honor. Rick Sutcliffe was named 1979 NL Rookie of the Year and Steve Howe, Fernando Valenzuela, and Steve Sax won the next three. Corey Seager won it in 2016 and Cody Bellinger won it the following year.
Yes, we skipped the 1990s for a reason as the Dodgers produced five consecutive NL Rookie of the Year award winners from 1992 to 1996, breaking their own record of the four just mentioned above from 1979 to 1982. What makes these five different is that they never found the success of the other 13
First baseman Eric Karros played 149 games in his first full season with the Dodgers in 1992. Drafted in the sixth round of the 1988 MLB draft, Karros hit .257 with 23 home runs and 88 runs batted in and easily beat out second-place Moises Alou in the ’92 Rookie of the Year voting. Karros remained with the Dodgers through the 2002 season and his 12 years with the team are the most of any player on this list.
By far the biggest name on this list, Mike Piazza was one of two players on this list to be named the unanimous NL Rookie of the Year. Piazza, who was taken in the 62nd round of the ’88 draft, not only won Rookie of the Year in 1993 but also finished in the top 10 of the NL MVP vote. The Hall of Fame catcher hit .318 with 35 home runs and 112 RBIs in ’93, earning an All-Star nod and a Silver Slugger Award. Following five consecutive All-Star seasons, he was traded to the Marlins in 1998.
The 1994 MLB season was cut short due to a players’ strike but postseason awards were still handed out and outfielder Raul Mondesi became the third consecutive Dodgers player to win NL Rookie of the Year, also winning it in unanimous fashion. The man that would later become the mayor of San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic played 112 games in that strike-shortened season and hit .306 with 16 home runs and 56 runs batted in. He was traded to Toronto following the 1999 season.
In 1995, Japanese superstar pitcher Hideo Nomo burst onto the scene in the U.S. with his tornado-type windup and dominated for the Dodgers on the way to winning NL Rookie of the Year, just beating out Chipper Jones. Nomo also placed fourth in the NL Cy Young vote in 1995 with a 13-6 record, a 2.54 ERA, and a league-leading 236 strikeouts in 28 starts. He was traded to the Mets in 1998 after beginning the season 2-7 with the Dodgers.
In 1996, the same year Derek Jeter won AL Rookie of the Year with the New York Yankees, Dodgers outfielder Todd Hollandsworth became the fifth consecutive winner for LA in the National League. In 149 games, Hollandsworth hit .291 with 12 home runs and 59 runs batted in. He was traded to the Colorado Rockies in 2000.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference