It’s a rivalry so strong that it gained momentum after traveling across the country.
The New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers played as rivals on the East Coast from the 1890s to 1957, with the highlight being Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round the World” in 1951 at the Polo Grounds, which won the National League pennant for the Giants.
The new chapter began modestly on April 15, 1958, when the San Francisco Giants’ Ruben Gomez knocked out the Dodgers and Don Drysdale 8-0 in front of 23,000 fans at the rickety Seals Stadium on Bryant and 16th in the Mission District. Since the move, the Dodgers have had a 576-540 Edge in the series.
As the Giants and Dodgers embark on a three-game series tied for first place in the National League West at Oracle Park on Friday night, a look back at 10 memorable games in the series over the years:
Magic in the ninth inning
October 3, 1962 at Dodger Stadium: Giants 6, Dodgers 4
The Dodgers and Giants are 101-61 each after 162 games, extending the regular season with a best-of-three playoff to determine who will compete in the World Series as National League champions against the New York Yankees. The Giants serve Sandy Koufax to win Game 1 8-0 in San Francisco, but the Dodgers win 8-7 the next day, bottoming out in ninth place. The Giants were trailing 4-2 in the ninth game of the crucial game, scoring four times on a Willie Mays single, a sacrificial flight from Orlando Cepeda, a base-filled walk to Jim Davenport, and a Dodgers infield mistake. Billy Pierce pulls the Dodgers back in turn at the end of ninth place. The Giants lose the World Series to the Yankees in seven games when Bobby Richardson snaps Willie McCovey’s line drive to second base with runners in second and third places.
August 22, 1965 at Candlestick Park: Giants 4, Dodgers 3
Few remember who even won the game on a day when the rivalry turned violent when Giants pitcher Juan Marichal hit Dodgers catcher John Roseboro over the head with his bat. It happened in the third inning when Marichal believed a throwback from Roseboro to Sandy Koufax had put him in his ear. Previously, problems brewed when Marichal Dodger’s shortstop met Maury Wills and Koufax pitched a pitch over Willie Mays. This resulted in Marichal forcing the Dodgers’ Ron Fairly to hit the deck. Mays played peacemaker in the brawl that followed after Marichal beat Roseboro. The Giants finished with victory within 2 1/2 games of the Dodgers but won the pennant by two games with a 97-65 record.
Bobby Bonds puts an end to it
September 3, 1973 at Candlestick Park: Giants 11, Dodgers 8
The Cincinnati Reds are the NL West’s class, but the Dodgers and Giants are doing their best to keep up. The Giants run back 8-1 after six innings but score six hits in the seventh and knock out Dodgers starter Tommy John. At the end of ninth place, Bobby Bonds delivers a walk-off grand slam against Dodgers reliever Jim Brewer in front of 15,279 spectators on Labor Day. The Dodgers (95-66) finish second, 3 1/2 games back, the Giants third (88-74).
Mike Ivie in a pinch
May 28, 1978 at Candlestick Park: Giants 6, Dodgers 5
With the Giants overtaking Don Sutton 3-0 in the sixth inning, Terry Whitfield doubles a home run and Mike Ivie meets shortstop Vic Harris with the loaded bases. He delivers a Grand Slam in front of 56,123 spectators and the Giants lead 5-3. Reggie Smith tied for the Dodgers with a double home run against John Montefusco in seventh place. An RBI single by Darrell Evans wins eighth place for the Giants. The Dodgers (95-67) win the division and the pennant, but lose to the Yankees in the World Series. The Giants are third (89-73).
Joe Morgan plays doomR.
October 3, 1982 at Candlestick Park: Giants 5, Dodgers 3
The Giants, in a three-way battle for the NL West title with the Dodgers and Braves, are humiliatingly eliminated in the 161st game. The day after the Dodgers’ 15-2 victory, Joe Morgan hit a two-out, three-run home run against Terry Forster with Bob Brenly and Guy Sularz on board at the end of the seventh inning. A 2-2 draw breaks out and Greg Minton rules out the Dodgers and knocks them out of the race. Atlanta (89-73) wins the division, followed by the Dodgers (88-74) and the Giants (87-75).
When 103 wins are not enough
October 3, 1993 at Dodger Stadium: Dodgers 12, Giants 1
The Giants have a 103-58 record and are tied with the Atlanta Braves in first place in the season finale against the Dodgers. First year coach Dusty Baker sends rookie Salomon Torres to the hill. Torres lasts 3 1/3 innings and five relievers fare no better as the Dodgers collect 14 hits. Kevin Gross stops the Giants with a six-hitter while the Dodgers play spoilers and finish 81-81. The Braves beat Colorado 5-3 to win the NL West with 104 wins.
Brian Johnson’s greatest moment
September 18, 1997 at Candlestick Park: Giants 6, Dodgers 5, 12 innings
The Giants tie the Dodgers for the NL West lead when catcher Brian Johnson hits a leadoff home run in the lower quarter of the 12th against Dodgers reliever Mark Guthrie. It ecstatic a crowd of 52,188 people. The Dodgers had equalized the game in the seventh game 5-5 in a two-out, two-run singles by Mike Piazza against Roberto Hernandez. Relief pitcher Rod Beck kept the Dodgers goalless on the 10th, 11th and 12th to take the win. The Giants (90-72) win the division, the Dodgers (88-74) finish two games back.
Barry Bonds reaches number 71, 72
October 5, 2001 at Pacific Bell Park: Dodgers 11, Giants 10
Barry Bonds made baseball history with his 71st and 72nd homers, breaking Mark McGwire’s three-year-old single-season record. By the time Bonds scored against Chan Ho Park in the first inning, the Giants were already 5-0 behind, knowing the Arizona Diamondbacks had won NL West earlier in the day. The defeat also secured Houston and St. Louis wildcard berths, keeping the Giants out. They finished with a 90-72 record and Bonds finished with 73 home runs. Three years later, Bonds had one of his most memorable at-bats against Dodgers closer to Eric Gagne when he hit a home run to dead center field with a 100 mph fastball after throwing a foul in the water.
Finley’s slam seals the downfall of the Giants
October 7, 2004 at Dodger Stadium: Dodgers 7, Giants 3
The Giants lead 3-0 into the end of the ninth inning, but the Dodgers score seven times – 39-year-old Steve Finley ends things with a walk-off Grand Slam against Wayne Franklin. It takes the Dodgers’ first National League West title in nine years with a 93-68 record while the Giants drop to 90-71. The Giants finish one game behind the Houston Astros in a wildcard race.
The feud between MadBum and Puig
September 19, 2016 at Dodger Stadium: Dodgers 2, Giants 1
Unlike Clayton Kershaw, former Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner didn’t particularly like the Dodgers. Most recently it was Max Muncy who admired his splash hit in the first inning home run in 2019. Before that it was Yasiel Puig. It came to a head when Puig hit a weak comebacker against Bumgarner in the bottom of the seventh. Bumgarner, whose swing led him for the first time, threw outside, stared at Puig and said, “Don’t look at me!” The benches emptied even though no blows were thrown. The Dodgers countered the next day with “Don’t look at me!” T-shirts in Dodger blue.