The new year is here, but before we move forward we must look to the past. So I present to you the 20-23 Dodgers.
Eric Karros in his career hit the most home runs by a Los Angeles Dodger. That included 20 home runs in winning National League Rookie of the Year in 1992, the 12th of a record 18 Dodgers to win the award. Karros hit 23 home runs the next year, and again in 1998. Karros in 1998 hit 20 doubles and 23 home runs, the only Dodger ever with that combination in one season.
Adrián Beltré hit 20 home runs in 2000, then hit 23 homers three years later. Andre Ethier hit exactly 20 home runs in 2008, and again in 2012. In between, he hit 23 home runs in 2010.
Casey Stengel hit 20 doubles for Brooklyn in 1915, then hit 23 doubles in 1917. Catcher Al López hit 20 doubles in 1930, and hit 23 doubles in 1934.
Jimmy Sheckard hit 20 doubles as a 23-year-old in 1902, then hit 20 more in 1905. In between, he hit 23 doubles in 1904. Sheckard in each of his 20-double seasons also stole exactly 23 bases. Jose Offerman in 1992 also hit 20 doubles and stole 23 bases.
Jim Gilliam hit 20 doubles for the Dodgers for Brooklyn in 1955, then again for Los Angeles in 1960. He hit 23 doubles in 1956. Carl Furillo hit 20 doubles in 1948, then six years later hit 23 doubles.
Pee Wee Reese hit 20 doubles in 1951, ten years after he hit 23 doubles. Bill Russell hit 20 doubles for the Dodgers in 1982, two years after hitting 23. Ron Cey hit 20 doubles in both 1974 and 1979, and hit 23 two-baggers in 1982.
Julio Urías won 20 of his 23 decisions two seasons ago, leading the majors in wins.
Catcher Charlie Hargreaves played in 20 games for Brooklyn in ‘23.
Tom Lovett hit 20 batters while winning 23 games for Brooklyn in 1891. Don Drysdale pitched 20 complete games and won 23 games in 1965.
Clarence Mitchell, who both pitched and played first base in his five seasons for Brooklyn, lost 20 games and won 23 in his Dodgers career.
The Dodgers have started a season 20-23 ten different times in their history, the last coming in 2011. In four of those years, the Dodgers ended up with a winning record (1948, 1960, 1995, 2011), including winning the National League West in 1995.
Hall of Famer Don Sutton, whose number 20 is retired by the Dodgers, in 1988 returned to Los Angeles, 23 years after making his professional debut.
George LaChance played both first base and shortstop for Brooklyn, and even mixed in time in the outfield and behind the plate. He stole 20 bases for the Bridegrooms in 1894, then swiped 23 bases in 1898. Bill Dahlen stole 20 for Brooklyn in 1902, one year after he stole 23 bases.
Willie Davis stole 20 bases in 23 attempts for Los Angeles in 1972.
Davey Lopes, whose 418 stolen bases with the Dodgers rank second in franchise history and who led the National League in steals twice, stole 20 bases in the strike-shortened 1981 season, one year after stealing 23 bases.
Happy New Year.