A Place To Talk About Giants Baseball

Giants/Dodgers Rivalry: When Did This Start And What Keeps it Going?

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 27, 2013

Because I’m getting interviewed about this topic later this afternoon, this question was on my mind this morning. The rivalry goes all the way back to New York. In fact, since 1901 the Giants and Dodgers have played more head to head games than any other 2 teams in major league baseball (thank you, Wikipedia). Having not been a part of that, I don’t know what the rivalry was like back then. But according to history, it was quite heated between both fans (Brooklyn Dodger fans saw Giants fans as Manhattan elitists) and management (a long standing feud between Dodgers owner Charles Ebbets and Giants manager John McGraw saw the two men use their teams as fighting surrogates which caused incidents between players both on and off the field as well as between fans at games and in the community (again, thank you wikipedia).

But I don’t have a connection to any of that so none of it matters to me. It’s the same reason I wouldn’t ever buy that hat that claims 7 Giants world championships. My team has won 2, not 7.

I’m sure there are those who would point to the famous game in ’65 at Candlestick where Marichal beat down Roseboro with a bat touching off a bench-clearing brawl. Again, wasn’t alive then, don’t have any feelings about that event as it relates to the rivalry as I know it…..

I’ve told this story before, the first Giants/Dodger game that I remember going to was sometime in the late ’70’s. I’m sure I went to an SF/LA game before that, but this is the one I remember as my first rivalry game. It was a weekend day game and Candlestick was packed. My dad and I were in the nosebleed seats along the right field line. I remember noticing how loud it was and when the crowd would roar it almost frightened me a little bit. But I got used to it quickly and started to partake in the different crowd chants that were cropping up. At some point early in the game, Don Sutton’s name was announced (it might have been as a hitter, I can’t remember). I was pretty flushed with Dodger hatin’ fueled adrenaline and felt like announcing my presence with authority (for those keeping track, that’s my second Bull Durham movie reference in the last week). I took a deep breath and yelled as loud as I could, “Kill Don Sutton!!!!”. I think I even yelled it twice. Very quickly I could feel the fans around us get tense and quiet. My dad, a man from the south who was a big believer in children being seen and not heard, was absolutely not feelin’ my bold public call for Sutton to die. He glared down at me, I don’t remember if he said anything, but I didn’t utter a word for the rest of the game. Re-reading this, I’m making it sound worse that it was. I did learn a good lesson that day about proper fan etiquette at a baseball game and it was the last time I ever called for the murder of anyone…..

The last Giants/Dodgers game that I went to was 7/31/10. Burrell hit a 2 run home run off Broxton in the 8th inning to propel the team to a 2-1 victory. It was a fantastic game. I said at the time, I can’t remember ever being a part of a louder moment at a sporting event.

But I don’t know if I would say I *hate* the Dodgers. I obviously don’t like them more than any other team and I am most happy about a win against them than any other win we get. But as I’ve said before, fantasy baseball has ruined me a little bit in terms of my rigid hatred of all-things-Dodger. I’ve owned a few Dodgers over the last couple of years. It was hard to hate Kershaw when he was carrying one of my fantasy teams to a glorious victory in 2011. It was easy to hate Matt Kemp after he got hurt last year and hobbled his way through games even after he did come back–tough to win a league when your first round pick is pussin’ his way through the 2nd half of the season. In our flap fantasy league a couple of years ago we had a rule that you weren’t allowed to draft a Dodger. That didn’t really work since one guy (I think it was WilcoJoe) forgot to exclude Dodgers from his draft list and he ended up with a team made up almost exclusively of Dodgers.

The Brian Stow incident didn’t make me hate the Dodgers or their fans, it just made me hate the two hoodlums who nearly killed him.

I have a couple of friends who are Dodger fans and it doesn’t bother me. But they aren’t hardcore fans, maybe it would be harder to hang with them if they were.

I will admit to not understanding people who wear split SF/LA hats or the dude who wears a Giants jersey sitting with a girl wearing an LA jersey–that’s just a *look at us* moment, it has nothing to do with a rivalry.

As far as the players go, I remember starting to hate Casey Blake when he mocked Brian Wilson in the dugout. And I hated the smugness of Ron Cey and Steve Garvey back in the day. And who couldn’t hate Tommy Lasorda? A better question would be who could ever like Tommy Lasorda. He’s an obnoxious, (usually) fat, self-absorbed little man. Lasorda was Exhibit A of why no manager should ever have to squeeze themselves into a team uniform. That was not a good look, man.

But the current crop of Dodgers? Eh, not too much hate for them. I was annoyed by Hanley’s *eye-goggle* thing last year even though I didn’t understand it (and still don’t). But it looked like something that should bother me as a Giants fan.

The bottom line for me is that there isn’t a single incident that I can point to that reinforces the concept of this being a *rivalry*. I was conditioned to hate the Dodgers over the course of the last 35 years or so just because I’m part of the fan base that hates the Dodgers. I do think that this rivalry will be taken to the next level in the coming years, possibly as early as this coming season. With the Dodgers new approached to spending (how ironic is that considering their working class Brooklyn roots?) and the Giants settling nicely into a pattern of winning every other World Series ( 🙂 ) we are poised to see two good/great teams facing off regularly. And that’s the best way to keep a rivalry going–or at least have it take the next step into the future of it’s long and storied history……

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  1. willedav said, on March 27, 2013 at 7:45 am

    buddies of mine that I met for first time across town in school early 60s numbered a couple LA fans. Those teams had wills and Gilliam, Davis boys, Koufax etc., all of whose skills and athleticism I admired. As for Drysdale and other head hunters, the game was just played differently in those days. The Roseboro incident occurred precisely because Koufax didn’t want to brush back Marichal, something that only makes me respect the guy even more.
    Today’s crop? Not enough there…completely different personalities from any of Lasorda teams.

  2. Alleykat said, on March 27, 2013 at 7:59 am

    When Don Drysdale hit Dick Dietz with the basesloaded in the top of of the 9th in LA and tphe freaking ump would not give him 1st base to help preserve his scoreless consecutive shutout streak that he later got.Score was 1-0the at the time and the Giants never scored….Fuck LA!!!!!!!And Fuck the Ump who was obviously on the take!!!!!! Believe it was Harry Wildenstead!!!!!

  3. Bozo said, on March 27, 2013 at 8:19 am

    I think it’s kinda funny that O’Malley persuaded Stoneham to move to SF. One, so he could move the Dodgers to LA (MLB told him they needed at least two teams for the move to happen) and two, to keep the rivalry going. The Giants had been thinking of moving to Minnesota, if that had happened twinfan would never had become a fan of the Twins (I doubt the Giants would have changed their name like the Senators did).

    I knew a guy who was married to a woman I worked with. She told me that one day her son (maybe 10 at the time) came to her and told her that he was going to play a joke on Daddy. Her husband was a huge Giants fan as was his whole family. Well, the kid walks in and says, “Daddy, I want to start rooting for the Dodgers!”. His dad flipped, it was the worst thing the kid could have ever told him, I think he almost had a stroke before the kid said “Just kidding”.

  4. twinfan1 said, on March 27, 2013 at 8:25 am

    OK, first some numbers (natch )
    Head-to- Head NY and Cal…. Giants 1190 Dodgers 1166 17 Ties
    Head-to-Head California only…. Dodgers 495 Giants 468
    One Run Wins ( total) …Dodgers 350 Giants 349
    1-2 Finishes:
    1920 Dodgers by 7 games … 1924 Giants by 1.5…. 1951 Giants by 1 (Playoff)… 1952 Dodgers by 4.5… 1954 Giants by 5… 1962 Giants by 1 (Playoff…) 1965 Dodgers by 2 …… 1966 Dodgers by 1.5… 1971 Giants by 1…1994 Dodgers by 3.5… 1997 Giants by 2…2000 Giants by 11… 2002 Giants by 3.5 (WC)… 2003 Giants by 15.5… 2004 Dodgers by 22012 Giants by 8

    Now two reasons why we care…

  5. xoot said, on March 27, 2013 at 8:52 am

    The rivalry between the two franchises has always embodied the rivalries I see between Southern and Northern California and between corporate excess and scrappy underdog. As a kid, I used to say that rooting for the dodgers was like rooting for At&T. The financial resurgence of the Giants franchise, after the new owners saved the team in 92, combined with the dodgers’ failure to get close to the World Series during the same period, took some of the edge off the underdog resentment. The McCourt jesters corroded things even more. But now, suddenly, the underdog resentment is back. In part because mlb offered extraordinary assistance during the McCourt banktruptcy litigation, the dodgers now have billions to spend as fuel as they try to relaunch the brand. Their payroll is absurdly high, and the full-on rivalry between the Giants and dodgers, for me, is back.

  6. PawlieKokonuts said, on March 27, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Becoming a Giants fan in 1955, here’s my angle. My best friend, Michael Palo, who drowned with terrible irony — I believe — on Jackie Robinson’s property in Stamford, CT when he was 16, was a Dodgers fan. My brother Jack, same age as Mike Palo, was a Yankees fan. So, we really did “argue” about Willie, Mickey, and the Duke. But I recall it as good-natured. We mostly role played. (“I’m Willie.” “I’m Koufax.” “I’m the Mick.”) while playing backyard games. But I do have a pretty strong memory of sitting with my father (Yanks) in a car in a parking lot in downtown Stamford on a hot summer day. WMCA was on. Giants-Dodgers. Hot. Humid. Tense. How do you describe tension coming through the airwaves? I can’t. But somehow the tension of that game reverberates in my bloodstream all these years later. I have no real animosity toward Dodgers fans; not sure I even know any anymore. But I can’t stand the uniforms, the team, the attitude, their history. (Some say it was Stoneham who persuaded O’Malley.) I’ve never been to a Giants-Dodgers game that I can recall. (And for all this, it’s the Yankees I loathe more, owing to sibling rivalry and 1962 and all those smug rings.)

    • PawlieKokonuts said, on March 27, 2013 at 8:59 am

      p.s. One of the Bobby Thomson books I’ve read (“The Giants Win the Pennant! The Giants Win the Pennant!”) reported that the clubhouse were back to back, adjoining, at Ebbets Field. Police had to be called in to break up fights in 1951. The rivalry is without question more intense than Yanks-Red Sox if you count the years and the incidents. No question.

  7. paulinasia said, on March 27, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I think everyone here probably has their stories about the rivalry and why they might or might not *hate* the Dodgers (as a very young boy in NJ first getting into baseball, I cried when LA swept NY in ’63, etc., blah blah blah). I understand the sentiment that if you weren’t alive for most of it, it doesn’t really matter (to you). Fact is, it is one of the longest running rivalries in all of sports, no matter where the franchises were located at the time, and I actually think it’s very cool that it moved from NY-Brooklyn to SF-LA. Red Sox-Yankees is probably considered the “best” rivalry in baseball, and they certainly have their historical references, but the fact that the Giants-Dodgers rivalry survived a cross-country journey and still flourishes just further illustrates the timelessness of baseball. Have fun with the interview, Craig.

    • chipower9 said, on March 27, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Awesome post, Paul. Hope life is treating you right in Viet Nam…

  8. paulinasia said, on March 27, 2013 at 9:15 am

    And thanks, Michael, for that video of the report of the “Brian Johnson game”. Johnson didn’t do much else in his career, but in that game, part of the double play with Shooter on the mound, and then his home run (remember where you were for that? I was doing a shot of Jack sitting in Pierce Street Annex on Fillmore), priceless…..

  9. chipower9 said, on March 27, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Awesome thread, Craig. Thank you. And thanks to Michael for the stats and the videos. That damned ’97 video made me all misty-eyed…seeing Shooter shut the Bums down with the bases juiced…

    I was at the ’97 game…still one of the best and most memorable games that I have attended. We were sitting upper box, first row, Section 39 I believe. I have never been to a post-season series-clinching game, but on that day, you would have throught the Giants had won their first World Series title. It was effing crazy…and the fans stayed in the yard for the longest time…no one wanted to leave. We were all clapping and high-fiving people we didn’t even know.

    Like others, I don’t have any specific instances that riles me on the Giant-Dodger rivalry. Like others…it is just the whole NorCal vs. SoCal thing, and also the history of the rivalry. I too hate the Dodger uniforms and the whole smugness of their fans. I don’t hate Dodger fans (I have some friends who are hard core Dodger fans, and we remain friends and have our share of friendly ribbing of one another), but I am full-on into the rivalry. There is just nothing like being in a sold-out yard, the game on the line, adrenalin pumping, and joining in with the chant of 40 thousand plus as they shout BEAT LA! BEAT LA! BEAT LA!

    • zumiee said, on March 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      Oh yeah!! I was at the Saturday game last year during that weekend series when the Giants shut-out the Dodgers all three games and made a major statement about being back in the race. Awesome to watch Dodger fans literally shrinking like wilted flowers, as they slouched lower and lower in their seats.

  10. paulinasia said, on March 27, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Ok, it’s nearing midnight here in Saigon, so, one more. How much would it cost the team to buy out AT&T’s naming sponsorship and rename the park to something more appropriate? I’d forfeit a major free agent signing if it meant getting rid of the phone companies… Mays Field… anything…

    And this: many forecasts for the year I’ve read pick the Dodgers, Angels, and Blue Jays in their top 5 teams for 2013. The other two spots vary, but usually don’t include the Giants. They’ve picked those 3 mainly because of their payrolls, figuring those teams have the best players. May the baseball gods, the real angels in the outfield, step in to make a statement. Although I’m ok with the Jays stepping up, and don’t forget Tampa Bay and Baltimore. Will the AL East see NY and Boston in the basement? That would be ok… Yanks going down, Sox rebuilding. Although I never count out the Yankees….

    Other teams are favored because of individuals. Giants win as a team. Such a cliche, but that’s not something you can emulate too easily. Summarily described as “small ball”, but really it’s team ball, all the way. As a kid, I remember my Father’s take on all sports all star games. He never watched any of them except for baseball’s, because the others were kind of just made-up teams that really needed to function as “teams”, whereas he liked the baseball all star game because the individual matchups, pitcher to batter, etc., were more interesting. Agree.

    But in the games that count over the long haul, it’s a team that wins, not just a collection of individuals. And I’m feeling that this year’s team still has that. Could be totally wrong: LA’s collection of individuals could very well end up blowing away the competition. But if the Giants can win it again, that seriously elevates the team as one of the best ever over the span of a handful of years.

  11. unca_chuck said, on March 27, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Yeah, living through the late 60s and all of the 70s when the Giants were shit (or at least couldn’t ever seem to get over the hump), and the Dodgers were smug fucking bastards that always beat us, fueled my hatred for the color blue and anyone who wore it. Add to the fact the NorCal/SoCal animosity that was seemingly ingrained into anyone north of, say Santa Barbara, the fact LA wants all our water, are narcicistic navel-gazing self-absorbed assholes who think the world begins and ends in LA adds to the mix.

    Granted, it isn’t nearly as life-and-death as it was in the 70s, but the rivalry was different back then. Guys like Cey, Garvey, Sax, and the like would be there year after year. The beauty of the rivalry now is it IS the fans that carry and nurture the rivalry. The games are a little more intense because of the fans reactions now. Fathers teach sons about the rivalry like the players used to. I think the players feed off the emotion of the fans now, whereas before it was the other way around.

    I’ve recounted my epic twi-night LA double-header riot a few times, but that was the pinnacle of the rivalry for me.

    • blade3colorado said, on March 27, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Love your post Chuck. I totally relate to what you said about the 70s. I hated Penguin, Sax, and especially that hypocrite two faced Garvey. Fucking sexual pervert, that cheated on his wife every chance he got. Ironically, he would have been the PERFECT politician. Thank God we all saw through him. Damn, just thinking about that cocksucker makes me sick to my stomach. Add Lasorda to the mix – yeah, I really disliked the Dodgers.

  12. chipower9 said, on March 27, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I agree with Paul about the Giants “winning as a team.” Yeah, it is certainly cliche, but the Giants have backed it up in spades by winning two of the last three world series. I was watching one of the new “Inside the Clubhouse” shows on CSN the other night, and they had a spot with Chad Gaudin. The interviewer asked him about the Giants and how it had been, and he mentioned the “chemistry” of the team…how these guys have bonded. He also mentioned the commitment. He said he had never been with a team where so many of the players were in camp early, in excellent shape, and were motivated to play for one another and to win another championship. He talked about how genuine it all is, and how he feels blessed to be a part of it. I became a big Chad Gaudin fan right then and there.

    Lots of teams talk about chemistry, etc., but the Giants both Talk the Talk AND Walk the Walk!

    And I love that all the “experts are picking the sexy clubs that are spending big bucks…Bums, Angels, Tigers, etc. Another point about the Giants…they spend, but they spend SMART. Everyone talks about how “deep” the pockets are of the Dodger ownership group, but few know that Charles Johnson (principle owner of our Giants) is the richest man in baseball (one of the 100 richest in the world). Anyway…this is a neat story on Charles Johnson…hope you Flappers enjoy. Pawlie – you may cringe a bit when he talks about his youth, and the baseball team he followed…


  13. twinfan1 said, on March 27, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I’ve added a couple free programs to my shared folder on Sky Drive. Avast is, IMO, the best free antivirus and Macrium Reflect is an excellent free program for backing up and/or cloning your hard drive. I’ve tested it making an image of a few hard drives and it produces a flawless clone.
    I’ll be leaving everything on Sky Drive, except the Mays video which I’ll leave up another week; it’s basically my FTP site for all of you to use as you like. The only caveat is as I said before-please view the Mays video privately, it’s owned and copyrighted material and I know that you don’t want me to spend the rest of my life as “Gorilla” McGoober’s private bitch 😉

    You might want to save this link if you’ll be interested in what I might have for all:


    • eddacker said, on March 27, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      as a lifelong computer guy, I agree with the Avast inclusion. It has been earning awards for many years now.
      For paid anti-v (mobile(cell in us) and pc) I use Kaspersky. I would add to Twin’s offerings Irfanview. It is a simple and powerful, quick and free image manipulating program. With it you can do a hundred handy hankerings to most image types for most image manipulations. Including some very fancy ones.

      try it and see or email me and ask for a demo. I’ll be looking forward to using it to capture and preserve all my 2013 WS pics.
      Go Gigantes!

  14. chipower9 said, on March 27, 2013 at 11:24 am

    A recent piece by Baggs…with small nuggets on Hector and Pablo….


  15. twinfan1 said, on March 27, 2013 at 11:38 am

    No future Bochy here:
    Calabasas high school in California has fired Rob Dibble as head baseball coach after 10 games on the job.

    OMG, terrible news:
    Tim McCarver will end his Fox Sports broadcasting career at the end of 2013.

    Great news for Dodger malcontents:
    Don Mattingly is against assault rifles

  16. chipower9 said, on March 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    The Giants have unveiled a gold-lettered jersey they will wear for the ring ceremony. I’ve never been a big fan, but I do like this one better than the 2010 one.


    • PawlieKokonuts said, on March 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      me like; can we buy fan versions?

      • chipower9 said, on March 27, 2013 at 1:05 pm

        I am sure you will be able to buy one (the Giant marketing machine keeps on rolling, and rolling, and rolling), eventually. I saw a number of folks wearing the 2010 version at ST in Scottsdale.

    • Alleykat said, on March 27, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      Yeah that’s one bad-ass gorgeous jersey.That SF emblem looks awesome in gold.Not as cool as Goldfinger’s car with Odd-Job driving,but still cool.

  17. blade3colorado said, on March 27, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    To me, the rivalry is personal. For each Giant or Dodger fan, it started for them whenever they say it started. Me? It started when Roseboro and Marichal got into it. Ironically, I mentioned McArthur Birney Falls yesterday and that’s where it started for me. We were camping and I was 10 years old. My family and a couple of other families were listening to the game on the radio at the camp site and we got the news about Marichal hitting Roseboro with a bat. I was frickin’ 10 years old, so I was influenced by the adults who were sort of stoked about Marichal hitting Roseboro. Years later, with a bit more maturity, I realized that it was the wrong thing to do, but at the time, I thought, “game on mutherfucker.” In any event, I recall all the males at the camp site acting like they had been thrown some red meat and it was interesting how intense everyone was about this. Almost everyone there was a Giants fan too, since not too many S. Californians made it that far up N. California to camp.

    • chipower9 said, on March 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Great story, Steve.

      “I recall all the males at the camp site acting like they had been thrown some red meat…” LMAO…love this!

    • Alleykat said, on March 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      Yeah great stuff Blade…Remember that Marichal /Roseboro brawl like it was yesterday.Roseboro was just as guilty as Juan,throwing the ball back to Koufax inches from Juan’s ear flap.That started all the fireworks.

  18. blade3colorado said, on March 27, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    New blog post. Today I talk about turkish baths and foreign toilets. See what an education you guys are getting?

  19. xoot said, on March 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Anyone link this yet? The slide show approach is a pain in the ass, but the blog article itself has some interesting info. Keep in mind, mlb helped engineer a carve-out in the dodgers bankruptcy settlement that excludes most of the bums new tv revenue from the amount subject to mlb revenue sharing. It’s a type of tax-free endowment for the poor guys.


  20. unca_chuck said, on March 27, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Yeah, AK, the story was, since Koufax wouldn’t come inside to hit anyone, Roseboro would throw pitches back to Sandy as close as he could to the batters. He apparently ticked Marichal’s ear after buzzing him a few times, and Marichal went off.

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