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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

July 17

July 17, 1941

Page One of the Brooklyn Eagle features a photograph of attorney Walter O’Malley talking with District Attorney William O’Dwyer, Democratic candidate for Mayor of New York and John R. Todd, builder of the Rockefeller Center, at the Hotel Bossert. O’Dwyer did not win the election that year, but did become New York’s 100th Mayor in 1946 succeeding Fiorello LaGuardia. O’Dwyer, like O’Malley, graduated from Fordham University School of Law by attending night classes.

July 17, 1955

Walter O’Malley and Dodger star Jackie Robinson watch from the box seats at Ebbets Field as the Dodgers win a doubleheader from the Reds, 6-2 and 8-5. Robinson had a bruised left knee that kept him out of the lineup and the Dodger star and team owner sat together and enjoyed a double win from the Dodgers.William Broidy, New York Times, July 18, 1955

July 17, 1957

In her interview with Walter O’Malley, Los Angeles Times writer Jeane Hoffman explains the predicament that he is in as he waits for the Brooklyn Sports Center Authority to issue a report regarding a new stadium built through bond issues. “O’Malley, the messiah whom Californians hope will lead them into the promised land of the major leagues, didn’t say he was bringing the Dodgers for keeps. He’s never said that, because as he told us, ‘I’m not trying to play one city against another.’ O’Malley wanted to talk about his insistence on building his own stadium. ‘People took it pretty much in stride when we announced we would build our own stadium wherever we went, and to me, that’s one of the most remarkable offers in the history of baseball. I’m going to build my own park because I like the free enterprise system, and because I don’t want to be attendant on a political entity or situation anywhere. First let me tell you that back on Nov. 9, 1947, I presented my initial request for a new stadium to our borough president and to Robert Moses, president of the park and recreation in New York then. I’ve waited a long time.’ The proposed Flatbush stadium money would be raised by private bond issues, with the Dodgers the largest single subscriber. Walter O’Malley sat in his comfortable office at 215 Montague St. and told us quietly, ‘Let’s wait and see what happens. We are giving serious thought to playing exhibition games in the (Los Angeles Memorial) Coliseum next spring. We are working on these plans now.’”Jeane Hoffman, Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1957

July 17, 1958

Walter O’Malley is the featured speaker for the Kiwanis Club of Beverly Hills luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

July 17, 1958

In response to inquiries from Mayor Dennis Murphy of Buena Park, California and Manager of the El Monte, California Community Chamber of Commerce regarding land in their respective cities for a new stadium, Walter O’Malley asks Assistant to Executive Vice President and General Manager Dick Walsh to respond. “At the present time our attorneys, in conjunction with the City attorneys, are making plans to appeal the recent (legal) decision on the Chavez Ravine situation. We appreciate your interest in phoning, but we cannot be interested in any other property at this time,” writes Walsh.

July 17, 1964

The Dodgers are the first team to present a game on pay television when they beat the Chicago Cubs, 3-2, at Dodger Stadium on newly-launched Subscription TV in Los Angeles. Frank Sims handles the play-by-play, while Dodger Vice President Fresco Thompson is the analyst. According to the Los Angeles Times, “As for the debut of Subscription TV here in a narrow 4-sq.-mile area on the West Side, its opening date was chosen to coincide with the return of the Dodgers to town. Inasmuch as baseball is a major offering of the system, it had to open with a ball game. The Cubs-Dodgers battle tonight in Dodger Stadium, their meeting Saturday afternoon and their double-header Sunday — each for the $1.50 price of a bleacher seat (on STV) — are prime entrees on the pay menu.” Some 2,500 homes viewed the Dodger game in color (with a color set) on Channel “B”Cecil Smith, The TV Scene, Los Angeles Times, July 17 and 18, 1964 The Sporting News wrote that “Some subscribers reported they utilized only the picture of the Dodger-Cub game, using the radio voices by Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett. All fans were enthusiastic with the reception and most observers actually raved about the color, which was noticeably more accurate than the usual color. This oddity was explained by STV officials in this way: ‘Subscription television is by direct cable, while the free TV programs are reflected indirectly.’”Bob Hunter, The Sporting News, August 4, 1964

July 17, 1976

Walter Alston, selected by Walter O’Malley to pilot the club in 1954, wins his 2,000th game as Dodger Manager, a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

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