That's not a knock against the seven foregoing men who alternately brought glory into Chavez Ravine and took turns giving Dodger Blue its glow. Merely a commentary on their background, and on Dodgers management's past willingness to blaze fresh trails.
Forty-six of the first 50 seasons in Los Angeles were managed by men without prior big league managerial experience, a track record unparalleled anywhere.
With 27 seasons of experience as a Major League skipper, Torre now will pave a new path as he accepts the baton from those who preceded him.Walt Alston
B.C. (Before Coming): Manager, Montreal Royals, International League; 10th season managing in the Dodgers organization, 13th overall in Minors. Tenure: 1954-76 Record: 2,040-1,613 (.558) Postseason: Four World Series titles (1955, '59, '63, '65) plus three NL pennants (1956, '66, '74). Games record of 23-21. A.D. (After Dodgers): Retired to his native Oxford, Ohio, where he passed away on Oct. 1, 1984, at the age of 72.
Comment: His nickname of "Smokey" carried a double-meaning. He was rarely spotted without a cigarette in his hand. And he was as tough as a bear, known to quiet disgruntled players by challenging them to a fight.Tommy Lasorda
B.C.: Dodgers third-base coach, following a spectacular eight-year run managing in the club's organization, from Rookie level to Triple-A. Tenure: 1976-96 Record: 1,599-1,439 (.526) Postseason: Two World Series titles (1981, '88) and four NL pennants (1977-78, 1981, 1988). A.D.: There is no A.D. for the baseball ambassador. Post-managing, he was named a club vice president and even took a brief turn as GM, and remains a consultant in the front office. Comment: The original Dodger-blue bleeder, he was also the first manager to openly hug his players, a rather common practice now. Bill Russell
B.C.: Dodgers coach, following a 1992-93 stint as their Triple-A manager in Albuquerque. Tenure: June 1996-June 1998 Record: 173-149 (.537) Postseason: One NL Wild Card (1996). Games record of 0-3 A.D.: Coach, Tampa Bay. Comment: Ropes Russell was caught in the crossfire as the O'Malley Era ended with the club's sale to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Glenn Hoffman
B.C.: Third-base coach, Dodgers Tenure: June-October 1998 Record: 47-41 (.534) Postseason: None A.D.: Third-base coach, Dodgers Comment: Trevor's older brother was strictly a temporary finger-in-the-leaky-dike for a club in serious transition. Davey Johnson
B.C.: Retired, following resignation after two seasons (1996-97) as Orioles manager. Tenure: 1999-2000 Record: 163-161 (.503) Postseason: None A.D.: Retired, resurfacing in 2005 as manager of Team USA. Comment: No surprise that the East Coast-oriented Murdoch front office would bring in a former manager of both the Mets and Orioles, but their experiment was a miserable flop. The resolute Johnson was simply too much of a sudden culture shock in a clubhouse accustomed to a much mellower type of skipper. Jim Tracy
B.C.: Bench coach, Dodgers Tenure: 2001-05 Record: 427-383 (.527) Postseason: One NL West title (2004). Games record of 1-3. A.D.: Manager, Pirates (2006-07) Comment: Had by far the longest run of any LA Dodgers manager not named Alston or Lasorda, but never came close to the hold they had over the city and the respect they elicited from fans and media. From a distance, most observers considered him too self-assured without a matching resume. Grady Little
B.C.: Consultant and scout, Cubs Tenure: 2006-07 Record: 170-154 (.525) Postseason: One NL Wild Card (2006). Games record of 0-3. A.D.: Undecided Comment: Little is 2-for-2, in clubs he guided into the postseason (along with the 2003 Boston Red Sox) and in unfortunate exits. His folksy exterior belies the heart of a fierce competitor and the mind of a smart baseball man. He knows the futility of sitting on a hot seat, and he again proved that he is a proud man whose hair didn't get white from worrying about a job.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.