By Frederick H. Lowe
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, whose team defeated the Chicago Cubs 11-1 Thursday night in the fifth and deciding game of the National League Championship Series, is the fourth black manager to lead his team to the World Series in the history of Major League Baseball.
The Dodgers won three games at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles before losing a game to the Cubs at Wrigley in Chicago. The Dodgers clobbered the Cubs Thursday before a home crowd to win the National League Pennant.
Roberts follows other black managers who guided their teams to the October Classic.
Cito Gaston, manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, was the first. His teams won back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. Dusty Baker, then manager of the San Francisco Giants went to the World Series in 2002 but lost in seven games to Anaheim Angeles. Ron Washington, manager of the Texas Rangers, led the team to the World Series in 2010 and 2011. The Rangers lost both years.
The Dodgers are returning to the World Series for the first time since 1988. The series begins October 24, and they will
either will play the Houston Astros or the New York Yankees.
The Dodgers won the National League Championship series 45 years after Jackie Robinson, became the first African American to integrate modern Major League Baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
What makes the Dodgers’ victory also special is that the team is partly black owned. Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. of Los Angeles Lakers fame has been a team owner since 2012.