One hundred and twenty-four years after winning their very first National League game, the Los Angeles Dodgers, then known as the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, won their 10,000th game as a member of the NL on Wednesday, defeating the Minnesota Twins 6-4 at a frigid Target Field.
It took ten name changes and one cross country trip from to Brooklyn to Los Angeles to finally get there, but the Dodgers now join the San Francisco Giants (10,708), Chicago Cubs (10,446) and Atlanta Braves (10,421) as the only four franchises to reach the milestone in the same league. Although there has been some debate over what their true record is. According to the team's media guide, the Dodgers entered 2014 with 9,972 wins, while Elias had them at 9,985 wins.
The discrepancy is the club’s 1899 record, listed by the club as 88-42, while Elias has it at 101-47. According to documents uncovered by the Dodger historian Mark Langill from the 1900 version of Reach’s Official Base Ball Guide, the Brooklyn franchise had 18 games thrown out of its 1899 record due to an illegal player, Zeke Wrigley, and another infraction. These documents have been submitted to Elias
Elias has not yet indicated that an adjustment will be made to their Dodgers win total. Meanwhile, the Dodgers obviously jumped on board with the higher number as their Twitter account celebrated it as the 10,000th victory.
That debate aside, getting from 9,999 to 10,000 was an adventure unto itself for Los Angeles. The Dodgers were winners Saturday night against the Colorado Rockies, setting up a chance to make history at Dodger Stadium on Sunday afternoon. They dropped that game 6-1. A travel day on Monday took them to Minnesota, where miserable weather awaited and forced the postponement of the series opener on Tuesday.
They finally took the field again on Wednesday, and were positioned well thanks to six innings of one-run ball from a well-rested Zack Greinke. However, a comfortable five run lead dwindled down to 6-4 in the ninth, which meant an appearance from closer Kenley Jansen. Jansen finally completed the job, retiring Chris Colabello to end the game and put the Dodgers storied franchise into a new elite class.
You bet Don Newcombe is somewhere smiling. Andy Pafko and Jackie Robinson would be as well.
It's also worth noting that the Dodgers were founded in 1883 as the Brooklyn Atlantics and began a six season stint in the American Association in 1884, where they won an additional 410 games. Their overall win total of 10,410 still ranks fourth overall.
Their first official NL victory came on April 21, 1890. They would go on to win the first of 21 NL pennants that season, finishing with a 68-43 record. The World Series itself finished without a resolution though, as the Bridegrooms and Louisville Colonels each won three games while Game 3 ended in a tie. The game was never completed and the series was never resolved because domed stadiums were still over a half century away from creation and the weather simply wasn't cooperating. Both teams agreed to the result.
Looking ahead now, the New York Yankees are the next closest team to 10,000 wins in the same league. They're currently sitting on 9,962, which means they should hit the mark sometime over the summer. The Cincinnati Reds are the next closest NL team at 9,644 wins.
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