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Dodgers win 1983 Western Division championship

Dodgers win 1983 Western Division championship

Sept. 30, 1983: Manager Tom Lasorda is at head of the pack as Dodgers celebrate winning National League West title following news of Atlanta loss.

After a tough campaign, the Dodgers went into the last three games with a three-game lead on the Atlanta Braves.

Staff writer Mark Heisler reported in the next morning’s Los Angeles Times:

Now, it’s over. The Dodgers, revamped, written off and rained on, won the West at 9:06 Friday night when the Braves lost in San Diego, setting off a wild celebration in Dodger Stadium.

Not a word was announced, but the sky was immediately filled with paper napkins, a reasonable facsimile of a tickertape parade. The Dodger game was in the top of the sixth, with Fernando Valenzuela leading the Giants, 3-0. Valenzuela got three more outs, the regulars came back to the bench and the whole team embraced on the field. The normally reticent Al Campanis waved to the crowd from his box upstairs and blew kisses.

Tom Lasorda, a division champion for the fourth time in his seven seasons as manager, then started pulling his starters. His first move was to send rookie shortstop David Anderson up to hit for Bill Russell. Anderson hit the second pitch he saw into the left field seats for his first big league homer, prompting another big high-fiving celebration…..

The Dodgers went into this season without Garvey, Cey and Forster, took a 5 1/2 game lead in mid-June when the staff ERA bottomed at 2.54. They they slumped all the way into August. By that time they’d fallen 6 1/2 games behind the Braves, who looked impressive enough that the Atlanta Journal ran its “It’s Over” headline…

Then injuries hit the Braves and the Dodgers rallied going into the Sept. 30 game with a three-game lead.

After hearing the news, the Dodgers bench held on to beat the Giants 4-3.

The Dodgers lost the 1983 National League Championship Series in four games to the Philadelphia Phillies — after beating them 11 of 12 games during the regular season.

This photo by former staff photographer Jayne Kamin was published as lead sports section art in the Oct. 1, 1983, Los Angeles Times.

1 Comment

  1. September 7, 2014, 8:21 pm

    These are the Dodgers I like to remember!

    By: Alma

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