Part I: The History

With the National League Championship Series on its way, Swing and a Long Drive will take you on a 3 part blog preview building up to the NLCS. We start with the Phillies and Dodgers head to head postseason history.

Old. Young. Age doesn't matter. Whether you're like me, witnessing you're first Phillies NLCS (I was barely 2 in 1993), or its your 7th, the postseason is always an exciting time. The Phillies and Dodgers go way back. Although I wasn't around to witness it, it doesn't mean I don't know about it. Like Babe Ruth for most of us.

One. The number of World Series the Philadelphia Phillies have. Six. The number of World Series the Dodgers have. When you think of these two teams and rivalries, you normally think Phillies and Mets, or Giants and Dodgers. The truth is, these two teams, the Phillies and Dodgers, have some bad blood between each other.

Former Dodger manager, Tommy Lasorda, and the Phillie Phanatic even have a rivalry. Dancing with a dummy of Lasorda on the field, Lasorda attacked the Phanatic and started punching him as the Phanatic fell to the ground, nearly taking his head off. That wouldn't effect the Phanatic as he later fed the dummy pizza on top of the dugout. To this day, Lasorda hates mascots, especially the Phanatic. I know, hating the Phanatic is almost impossible.

The Phillies and Dodgers first met in the NLCS back in 1977, the year the Phillies won 101 games, a franchise best.

The Phillies took the first game winning 7-5, but the Dodgers responded winning 3 in a row. Dusty Baker was named the NLCS MVP.

The key game in that series was game 3, also know as "Black Friday." With a 5-3 lead going into 9th, things looked good for the Phightin' Phils.

Davy Lopes hit a ground ball that hit Mike Schmidt. Larry Bowa bare handed the ball in mid air, and in the same motion threw to first. The replay clearly showed the Lopes was out, however he was called safe. Instead of it being the final out, the tying run scored, and the Dodgers went on to win the game, and later the series. Lopes still insist he was safe, while Bowa disagrees.

The Phillies and Dodgers rematched a year later in 1978. The Dodgers won the series 3 games to 1. The only Phillies win came from ace, and Hall of Famer, Steve Carlton. Steve Garvey was named series MVP.

In 1983, it was almost deja vu. Everything was set up just like Black Friday. Series tied 1-1. Game at Veterans Stadium. The game started at same time and was broad casted on the same network. This time, Phillies finally beat the Dodgers in the NLCS. Once again, the series was decided 3 games to 1.

Steve Carlton started the series off shutting out the Dodgers in a 1-0 win. The lone run came of a Michael Jack Schmidt homer.

After losing game 2, the Phillies came back winning the final 2 games. Gary Matthews earned the NLCS MVP, as he hit 3 homeruns in the series.

In each of the three series, the team that won the NLCS went on to lose the World Series.

Larry Bowa and Davy Lopes will also be apart of the series much like they were back then. Only this time, Lopes is the Phillies first base coach, and Bowa is the Dodger's third base coach.

This time, the winner will have to win at least 4 games. There will be 7 games if necessary, unlike then when there were 5.

History is history, and nothing can change that. These two teams are looking to build their own legacy.

Be sure to check in for Part II: The Brooms, as we look back at the Phillies and Dodgers series against each other in 2008.

Photo Courtesy: Baseball- Reference


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