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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

May 1

May 1, 1945

As a Dodger stockholder since November 1944, Walter O’Malley, 41, attends the annual meetings of the Brooklyn National League Baseball Club and the Ebbets-McKeever Exhibition Company, followed by a Dodger Directors Meeting.

May 1, 1957

Walter O’Malley writes in his personal appointment book “Arrive LA.” He attends a baseball game in Los Angeles for the first time as the Los Angeles Angels, the Dodgers’ Pacific Coast League team, defeat the Hollywood Stars 5-1 at Wrigley Field. O’Malley sits with Angel General Manager Bill Heymans. The Dodgers exchanged rights for the Angel club on February 21, 1957 and it was O’Malley’s first opportunity to view Wrigley Field and the ballclub. The starting and winning pitcher for the Angels is Dick Hanlon, who would later be a scout for the Dodgers and sign pitchers John Wetteland and Dave Stewart to their first professional contracts. The number two hitter and starting second baseman that night for Los Angeles was George Anderson, aka “Sparky,” later the Hall of Fame manager for the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers. City of San Francisco Mayor George Christopher flew down to have dinner with O’Malley and watched several innings of the game. Christopher caught a late night flight back to San Francisco and told reporters, “If Los Angeles doesn’t make a bid for the Dodgers, we’ll make every effort for them to come to San Francisco.”Rube Samuelsen, The Sporting News, May 15, 1957 O’Malley is also presented with a symbolic key to the City of Los Angeles by L.A. Mayor Norris Poulson.

May 1, 1968

California Governor Ronald Reagan responds to Walter O’Malley’s request of April 16 to support a United States commemorative postage stamp honoring the Centennial of professional major league baseball. Mr. Reagan writes, “I appreciated your bringing this matter to my attention. I am asking Edgar Gillenwaters, my representative for California in Washington, D.C., to discuss this matter with the Postmaster General’s Office. Best wishes to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a successful season. Sincerely, Ronald Reagan”

May 1, 1971

Jerome Holtzman of The Sporting News tells of his appreciation for Dodger Stadium. “Every time I get to Dodger Stadium,” writes Holtzman, “I realize anew that it is the most elegant of the new baseball parks. Walter O’Malley, take a bow.”

May 1, 2004

Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia is published by Sports Classic Books and Chapter 47 of the more than 2,600-page book includes “From Babe to Mel...The Top 100 People in Baseball History.” Walter O’Malley is ranked 15th on the list of The Top 100 People in Baseball History, which includes Babe Ruth as number one and Dodger Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson ranked second.Alan Schwarz and John Thorn, Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia, Chapter 47

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