The 15 greatest L.A. Dodgers of all time, No. 11: Walter Alston
Pretty much the complete opposite of Tommy Lasorda as far as personality goes, Walt Alston was nonetheless one of the most successful managers in Dodgers history.
Alston began managing the Dodgers in 1954 when they were still in Brooklyn, and remained manager until 1976, winning seven N.L. pennants (1955, 1956, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1974) and four World Series titles, (1955, 1959, 1963, 1965), three of them in Los Angeles.
Alston was named NL manager of the year six times before retiring with a final record of 2,040-1,613. He had his number (24) retired by the team in 1977, and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983.
Alston died at the age of 72 on Oct. 1, 1984.
A great Walter Alston story, recounted in many books on the Dodgers is the team when the players still traveled mainly by bus. One time the bus they used was old, and had no air conditioning. Several Dodger players spent the bus trip yelling and getting on Lee Scott, the club’s traveling secretary.
Alston, sitting in the front of the bus, stood up and said: “I don’t want to hear another word about this bus. And if anyone has something more to say about it, he can step off right now, and we’ll settle it right here.” No one said a word after that.
-- Houston Mitchell
No. 12: Ron Cey
No. 13: Walter O'Malley
No. 14: Tommy Davis
No. 15: Kirk Gibson
Photo: Walter Alston, left, sits with third-base coach Tommy Lasorda in 1976. Credit: Mel Bailey / Associated Press.