Attention on Atlanta’s Eastern Division championship turns to the playoffs, as tomorrow they face the Los Angeles Dodgers, champs of the West. It will be another series between two original members of the National League. In days of long ago, the Braves began in Boston (moving to Milwaukee before Atlanta) and the Dodgers in Brooklyn (as the Trolley Dodgers).
In 1955 Milwaukee and Brooklyn left their respective Spring Training bases and played each other in exhibition games as they moved north towards Opening Day. On a wet field on April 4th in Nashville, the two teams played each other for the eighth time. Together they slugged six home runs as the Dodgers won 10-8.
A week before, the ballpark was under fourteen feet of water as the Cumberland River had spilled over its banks during spring rains.
Brooklyn scored nine runs in the first two innings against Braves pitcher Jim Wilson. Sandy Amoros slammed two for the victors to offset three homers by Eddie Mathews and one by Hank Aaron of Milwaukee. The starter for the Dodgers was Don Newcombe, who gave up Aaron’s two-run home run in the first inning followed by Mathews’ first, a 340-foot drive.
With the score at 10-7 in the ninth inning, future Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda relieved and with the bases loaded and one out, forced in a run with a walk. Lasorda then struck out Jack Parks and got the final out as Charley White popped out.
The Dodgers-Braves tradition continues, and Nashville fans still recall the battle between the two storied franchises in soggy Sulphur Dell.