Dodgers: Who is the best first baseman in franchise history?

UNSPECIFIED - UNDATED: Brooklyn Dodger Gil Hodges photographed at first base during practice. (Photo by Barney Stein/Sports Studio Photos/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - UNDATED: Brooklyn Dodger Gil Hodges photographed at first base during practice. (Photo by Barney Stein/Sports Studio Photos/Getty Images) /
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HAVANA, CUBA – 1942: Brooklyn Dodgers Arky Vaughan, Dolph Camilli, Billy Herman and PeeWee Reese photographed at Spring Training in Havana, Cuba in March 1942. (Photo by Greene Photography/Sports Studio Photos/Getty Images) /

Stars from earlier times

It’s challenging to place Jake Daubert in a list among modern day players given that he played over 100 years ago. I mean, Daubert played so far back in time, the Dodgers weren’t just still in Brooklyn, they had a different team name, the Superbas. But his performance can’t be ignored in Dodger history.

Daubert won the National League MVP in 1913 when he earned the first of consecutive batting titles, hitting .350 with a .405 on-base percentage. A speedy first baseman, he swiped 25 bases that year, and during his final season in Brooklyn he lead the league in triples.

Using advanced statistics that try to account for differences in league norms, Daubert ranks third in franchise history with 30.1 wins above replacement level. His name deserves to rank among the best first basemen in team history.

Another player from a much earlier era, Dolph Camilli played just six seasons with the Dodgers between 1938-1943, but left an important mark in the record books. In 1941, he had one of the best seasons in Dodger history, winning the Most Valuable Player Award while leading the league in home runs (35) and RBIs (120). A loyal Boy in Blue, when Camilli was traded to the Giants in 1943, he refused to report to his arch rival. Instead, he ended up managing in the Pacific Coast League before returning to the majors to close out his career with the Red Sox in 1945.

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