The Dodger franchise has existed for nearly 140 years. Nearly 2,000 players have donned the Dodger blue, including 46 members of the Hall of Fame who spent some or all of their career with the team. The Dodgers have more Cy Young Award winners (12 awards among eight pitchers) and boast 18 players who have been named Rookie of the Year, far more than any other franchise. What a job to select a single team from that group and all that talent! That’s the enviable, but next to impossible, task that Ned Colletti has given himself. And then drill that team down to selecting the starters. Pee Wee or Maury at shortstop? Campy or Piazza catching? Hodges or Garvey at first base? And who manages this team?
As he did when he led the Dodger brass, Ned selected his team by looking at both statistics and intangibles. (Fortunately for Ned, and unlike the real world, he was not hindered by budgets or luxury taxes in making his selections.) For each position and player, he has added his unique personal touch and observations.
After Ned assembled his team, Dave then put his imagination to work in creating the art to depict the team and the scenes telling the story. Just as Ned was not constrained by monetary restrictions, Dave’s artwork was not limited by chronology. What if you could suspend time and have stars of different eras gather together, each in their prime? That is what Dave has done. Instead of simply painting portrait-like pieces of the players, Dave created scenes that only baseball fans can imagine.
Imagine a timeless Dodger dugout during a spring training game. Roy Campanella is sharing thoughts with Mike Piazza. Sandy Koufax is sitting next to them taking in the action, Clayton Kershaw is discussing hitters and curveballs with Don Newcombe, Steve Yeager is getting ready to take the field, while Johnny Podres looks on and Burleigh Grimes congratulates a teammate. Even though those players’ Dodger careers spanned over 100 years, they are all there in Dave’s “Catchers” painting! Or how about a painting of the team during batting practice? Don Drysdale throwing BP with both Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda looking on, and Justin Turner, Corey Seager, and Adrian Beltre waiting for their turn to face the Hall of Famer. Off to the side, Jackie Robinson, Ron Cey, and Maury Wills discuss some of the finer points of the game. Fantasy? Sure. But what a moment Dave created.
Or imagine you are able to peek into the clubhouse during a team meeting. There you will find both Alston and Lasorda addressing players including Kirk Gibson, Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Garvey, Don Drysdale, Jackie Robinson, and yours truly. We are joined there by Branch Rickey, Peter O’Malley, and Vin Scully, among others. And sitting off to the side of the room is a Dodger coach from 1938 - none other than the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in that room!
That’s all here, and more, in the pages that follow. I’m sure you will agree that Ned’s discussion and Dave’s art are truly a joy to behold. So join us in reading the logic and thought process behind Ned Colletti’s creation of the all-time Dodgers team and enjoying Dave Hobrecht’s art that embodies that team and this amazing and historic franchise.
NED COLLETTI has worked in Major League Baseball for 40 years and has becomes on of the winningest executives during the last 20+ years. He began his baseball career with his hometown team, the Chicago Cubs, Where he worked for 13 seasons. He left Chicago for California, spent 11 years with the San Francisco Giants and 17 years with the Dodgers.
He then led the Los Angeles Dodgers as General Manager for nine seasons. During his GM tenure, when the Dodgers captured five division titles, no National League GM won more games than Colletti.
He has worked for the San Jose Sharks in scouting/player development since 2018. He won four Emmy's on Dodgers SportsNet LA network and Authored a best-selling book, The Big Chair, detailing his life career in baseball.
DAVE HOBRECHT is a world-renowned sports artist whose work is collected by art patrons across the globe. He is known for his classic, yet innovative black and white sports paintings, dramatic sports subjects, and masterful technique.
Hobrecht is a sports enthusiast whose life was changed dramatically when he was hit by a car as a young teenager. Upon waking up in a hospital bed weeks later, he learned he would not have the opportunity to fulfill his dreams as an athlete. With both legs shattered and his goals of athletic success gone, he found a new way to participate in the sports he loved by refocusing his efforts toward documenting sports through art.