Dodgers: Who is the best first baseman in franchise history?
The best in franchise history
The debate over the best first baseman in Dodger history really comes down to two names: Steve Garvey and Gil Hodges.
Beginning with Hodges, the Indiana native spent sixteen seasons with the Dodgers, mostly in Brooklyn, appearing in eight All-Star games, winning three Gold Glove Awards, and finishing in the top-10 in MVP voting three times. His 324 career home runs while manning first are most in Dodger history, as are his 1,135 RBIs.
Steve Garvey didn’t play quite as long as Hodges, but came pretty close with 14 years of service in Los Angeles. The right-handed hitting first baseman was a ten time All-Star (and 2x All-Star MVP), four time Gold Glove Award winner, and the National League MVP in 1974.
What separates Garvey from Hodges is his superlative performances, reaching a peak that Hodges never did, and performing more consistently in the playoffs.
A two-time World Series champion, Hodges appeared in 39 World Series games with the Boys in Blue. While he had some stand-out performances, particularly in 1953 and 1959, he also disappeared in some key series, including an 0-21 performance in 1952.
Meanwhile, Garvey was a career .338 hitter in the postseason, appearing in 45 playoff games with the Dodgers, and winning the 1981 World Series behind a 10-24 hit parade during that series. He also reached the peak of the sport in 1974 when he won the National League MVP Award, after batting .312/.342/.469 with 21 home runs and 111 RBIs.
Dodgers: Who is the best catcher in franchise history?
Ranking the top five catchers in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
In my book, Steve Garvey is the greatest first baseman in Dodger history.