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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

January 13

January 13, 1953

New York sports columnist Jimmy Powers commends Walter O’Malley for his role in the development of the Brooklyn Amateur Baseball Foundation. Powers estimated that nearly $60,000 in baseballs and bats would be contributed by the Brooklyn Dodgers to provide assistance to 20,000 baseball players, ages 8 to 18, living in Queens, Long Island and Brooklyn. The Foundation provides the baseball equipment to diverse groups such as the Police Athletic League, Catholic Youth Organization, B’nai B’rith, YMCA, The Salvation Army and the American Legion. The Foundation, sponsored by the Dodgers, paid for the support of 19 baseball fields. A series of baseball clinics were held for teaching fundamentals of baseball. Powers writes, “There is no place in financial accounting for mention of the letter received from one Brother Theophane in a monastery in Indiana. The good brother was begging for some used baseballs. A brand new dozen was dispatched posthaste. My purpose was to bring you the tale of a big organization like the Brooklyn Dodgers which has the Christmas spirit all year round, not just on December 25th. And a salute to Walter O’Malley, president of the Dodgers, who is a 365-day-a-year Santa Claus!”Jimmy Powers, “The Powerhouse,” N.Y. Daily News, January 13, 1953

January 13, 1955

In Walter O’Malley’s letter to John Cashmore, President, Borough of Brooklyn, he writes, “Can we get together for a serious talk about the stadium. Our situation is really acute. We were also unhappy to learn this morning that the admissions tax which we understood from (New York) Mayor (Robert) Wagner to be temporary until State relief was granted, is not one of the ‘nuisance’ taxes he plans on abolishing.” Indeed, New York continued the five percent admissions fee, resulting in the Dodgers’ payment of $165,000 per year.

January 13, 1958

After investigating the possibility of playing their home games in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Walter O’Malley announces that the Dodgers will not pursue the venue, but instead will turn their attention towards club-owned Wrigley Field (possibly to be expanded to 28,000 capacity) or the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum as their temporary home, until he can privately build Dodger Stadium.

January 13, 1959

The California State Supreme Court votes unanimously (7-0) to uphold the contract between the City of Los Angeles and the Dodgers, reversing the lower court’s decision. A joyous Walter O’Malley said that day, “I pledge the finest stadium any sports fan ever has entered.” Chief Justice Phil S. Gibson declared the contract valid as “serving a proper public purpose” in his written (21 page) opinion.

January 13, 1970

Walter O’Malley agrees to join the Honorary Dinner Committee for the Beverly Hills B’nai B’rith salute to Jack Valenti as the “1969 Man of the Year” on April 19, 1970. Valenti was the President of the Motion Picture Association of America from 1966-2004.

January 13, 1973

Walter O’Malley, who expanded baseball’s borders to the West Coast, along with Horace Stoneham who moved the Giants to San Francisco, for the 1958 season, are “Guests of Honor” at the Chicago Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America dinner.

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