Walter E. "Smokey" Alston. Member of Baseball's Hall of Fame. Manager of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for twenty-three years.
Like many managers, Alston began his baseball career as a player. He spent thirteen years in the minor leagues before being called up to "the show." There he struck out in his first at bat and never got another shot.
Alston's first chance at managing in the major leagues went much better. After ten years as a manager in the Dodgers' minor league system, Walter O'Malley called Alston up to manage the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The opportunity was granted because the previous Dodgers' manager, Charlie Dressen, sought a multi-year contract. In Dodger land, this was considered blasphemy. All managers worked on one year contracts, requiring them to prove their value year after year. Considering that, it may be ironic that Alston managed for twenty-three years (never having more than a one year contract) and his successor, Tommy Lasorda, managed the Dodgers for twenty.
Alston's Dodgers appeared in the World Series seven times and won The Series four times. In his second season behind the bench, he won the first and only World Series for the Brooklyn Dodgers and was manager when the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Alston was named Manager of the Year six times by the Associated Press.
In 1976 he retired with four games left in the season and the Dodgers ten games out of first place with a career won-loss record of 2,040 - 1,613.
Some facts collected and studied at Los Angeles Dodgers History