Polman: When the 1958 Dodgers and Giants played nine games in a row

From SABR member Jeff Polman at Baseball Prospectus on November 6, 2012:

The Giants and Dodgers have an odd rivalry these days. Not exactly a civil one like the Cubs and Cardinals, but nowhere near as serious, historic, and media-consuming as the Red Sox and Yankees. In a way, it’s passive-aggressive, like many Los Angeles drivers. Or simply a dormant volcano.

With the Giants getting all championshippy lately, their fans seem to be having too much fun at AT&T Park to move the rivalry past the clichéd “Beat L.A.” chants. Down south, many Dodger fans are too removed from the games and standings or jaded from recent ownership shenanigans to get riled up or even fill the park when their rivals are in town. It took the Giants closing in on their second title in three years for Bill Plaschke to realize they had a better franchise than the Dodgers and write a Los Angeles Times column about it.

Still, aside from a certain famous Shot Heard Round the Five Boroughs in 1951, the vast majority of Giants/Dodgers legend and lore resides on the left coast. We’re talking watered-down basepaths and a fabulous playoff series in ’62, a bat-wielding Hall of Fame pitcher in ’65, Morgan’s winning homer at Candlestick in ’82 that knocked the Dodgers out of the division race, Piazza returning the favor (twice) off Salomon Torres in ’93, Finley’s division-winning walkoff in 2004, and most recently and repulsively, an Opening Day beating in a parking lot.

But did you know that in 1958, the year they migrated west, a nine-game, home-and-home series was played between the two clubs over Labor Day weekend? I stumbled upon this rare scheduling gem while doing research for my Mystery Ball ‘58 blog, and the first question that came to mind was: Why the hell hadn’t I ever heard about this?

Read the full article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18844

Originally published: November 6, 2012. Last Updated: November 6, 2012.