By Jon Weisman
Something in the news today made me notice that Joel Peralta, Jimmy Rollins and Juan Uribe are the only active Dodgers remaining who were born in the 1970s.
Naturally (or, upon reflection, perversely), I became curious about who held that honor in past years. Here’s the honor roll of players who were the last Dodgers born in each previous decade:
- 1960s: Brad Ausmus, b. 1969 (2010, age 41)
- 1950s: Rickey Henderson, b. 1958 (2002, age 44)
- 1940s: Rick Dempsey, b. 1949 (1990, age 41)
- 1930s: Manny Mota, b. 1938 (1982, age 44)
- 1920s: Hoyt Wilhelm, b. 1922 (1972, age 49)
- 1910s: Pee Wee Reese, b. 1918 (1958, age 40)
- 1900s: Curt Davis, b. 1903 (1946, age 42)
- 1890s: Kiki Cuyler, b. 1898 (1938, age 40)
- 1880s: Jack Quinn, b. 1883 (1932, age 49)
- 1870s: Kid Elberfield, b. 1875 (1914, age 39)
- 1860s: Patsy Donovan, b. 1865 (1907, age 42)
- 1850s: George Shoch, b. 1859 (1897, age 38)
Sutton was the last Dodger born before the end of World War II, Reese the last before the end of World War I and Donovan the last born before the end of the Civil War.
The oldest recorded birth year for any player associated with the Dodger franchise is 1851, for outfielder Jack Remsen, who finished his career with the 1884 Brooklyn Atlantics of the American Association. For the National League years, you can go all the way back to infielder Jack Burdock (b. 1852), who got the 1,231st and final hit of his career with the 1891 Brooklyn Grooms.
Most of them, as you’d expect, born at the end of their respective decades.
But look at Hoyt Wilhelm there: born 1922, still going at age 49 in 1972.
The Curt Davis one is interesting, too. I couldn’t believe a guy from 1903 would win that decade’s honor, without playing much past 40. But the Dodger teams of the late 40s and early 50s were very young. Preacher Roe was the oldest player on the 1949 Dodgers – at age 33.