After qualifying for the playoffs, the Dodgers are still aiming to capture consecutive National League West titles for the first since 1977 and 1978. Tommy Lasorda and Joe Torre are the only two managers to lead Los Angeles to the playoffs in their first two seasons piloting the Dodgers. Lasorda and Gabby Street (1930-31 Cardinals) are the only N.L. managers to win pennants in their first two seasons as manager.
This is also the first time the Dodgers have reached the playoffs four times in a six-year span since the Brooklyn Dodgers reached the World Series four times in a five-year span from 1952-56. The “playoff” losses in 1946, 1951, 1962 and 1980 are considered part of the regular season as tiebreakers, thus don’t count as a postseason appearance.
The only Brooklyn manager to come close to reaching the playoffs in his first two full seasons was Burt Shotton, who replaced Leo Durocher during the 1948 season and finished in third place. In 1949, Shotton’s Dodgers won the 1949 National League pennant and nearly repeated in 1950, missing a chance to force a playoff with the Phillies by losing at home against Philadelphia on the final day of the regular season.
Brooklyn’s Ned Hanlon won consecutive N.L. pennants in his first two seasons as Dodger manager in 1899 and 1900, but the World Series didn’t begin until 1903.
— Mark Langill