Dodgers: Ranking the Top 5 centerfielders in franchise history
Who are the best centerfielders in Dodgers history?
Centerfield is one of the most high-profile positions on the diamond. In our latest installment of ranking the best Dodgers players at each position, we look at the top 5 players to command the outfield for the boys in blue.
But before we get into the ranking, a few honorable mentions.
Jimmy Wynn was an underrated star of the 1960’s. Unfortunately for his candidacy on this list, he only played two seasons with the Dodgers. However, both campaigns were of the All-Star variety.
After coming to the Dodgers in a trade that sent All-Star lefty and fan favorite Claude Osteen to Houston, Wynn had his best season in years, hitting 32 homers and driving in 108 runs, good enough for a top-five MVP finish and the Comeback Player of the Year Award.
He had another All-Star campaign in ‘75, but injuries limited his production after the Break and he was traded to Atlanta at season’s end. The Toy Cannon may not exactly be a Dodger legend, but his reputation as a dangerous power hitter for the Astros/Colt .45’s should not be overlooked. He was also one of the early three true outcome hitters: striking out as many as 137 times but walking as many as 148 in a single season.
If you haven’t heard of Mike Griffin, then like me, you probably didn’t watch baseball in the 19th century. Griffin was the Dodgers’ (or, rather the Bridegrooms as they were known at the time) regular centerfielder for much of the 1890’s, and served as team captain in 1897 and 1898, even serving as interim manager in ‘98.
Griffin was an on-base machine, posting a .305 average and .399 OBP over his eight seasons in Brooklyn. He was also a threat on the bases, stealing as many as 65 bases during his Brooklyn tenure (he swiped a massive 94 bags his rookie year in Baltimore). Perhaps his greatest attribute was his contact skills, striking out only 284 times compared to 809 walks over a 12 year career. The game was a lot different then but those numbers are impressive regardless of era.
Now, let’s get into the ranking of the best centerfielders in Dodger history.