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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

August 7

August 7, 1956

Walter O’Malley responds to an unhappy Dodger fan who had been watching the Brooklyn Dodger games from Jersey City, New Jersey on television. The fan disliked the camera behind home plate (a first for major league baseball on television) and the work of the cameramen in viewing the entire field. O’Malley responded, “I appreciate your constructive criticism of the TV work at Roosevelt Stadium. Of course, I would rather have you at the ballpark commenting on the brand of baseball our boys are playing. Frankly, with only 7 pick-ups from Jersey City, it is not possible to have the permanent set-ups and choice angles we have at Ebbets Field but the crew is trying to overcome some defects with the hope that the show will be better on TV than it has been.”

August 7, 1957

Dick Walsh speaks to reporter Rube Samuelsen writing for The Sporting News as to his duties as president of the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League. Walsh told Samuelsen, “Mr. O’Malley probably picked me for the Angel assignment because I knew Wrigley Field inside out. As a kid, I practically grew up in the place. I went to games every chance I had.” Walsh was asked regarding the Dodgers’ plan to move to Los Angeles. “Only one man knows what lies in store,” said Walsh, “and that’s Walter O’Malley.”The Sporting News, August 7, 1957 Walsh would be named Vice President, Stadium Operations by the Los Angeles Dodgers and would oversee the construction of the stadium. Walsh also later served as Commissioner of the North American Soccer League and General Manager of the California Angels.

August 7, 1958

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Walt Disney offers to provide advice on the building of Dodger Stadium to Walter O’Malley. Disney writes, “I don’t know just what it is you have in mind as regards the Chavez Ravine project but when you get a little further along with your plans, why don’t you give me a ring and we’ll arrange to have a get together and talk about it.”

August 7, 1961

The Dodgers enjoy an off day and spend it together in a golf tournament at Woodland Hills. The low gross players were Duke Snider and Ed Roebuck who shot 79 for the 18 holes and then Snider won a playoff hole over Roebuck for the low gross of the day. Frank Howard, the 6’7” outfielder, shot 130 for the 18 holes as the highest score, but with a handicap of 61, Howard ended up tying with Maury Wills for the low net at 70. Roger Craig hit the longest drive at 300 yards and Gil Hodges hit the closest approach shot just five feet away from the pin on a designated par-3 hole.Los Angeles Mirror, August 7, 1961

August 7, 1963

The appointment book for Walter O’Malley has Lew Wasserman, president of MCA, penciled in for a luncheon meeting.

August 7, 1972

Sandy Koufax, 36, is inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown. Koufax is the youngest player ever to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Koufax was gracious in his acceptance remarks giving credit to Roy Campanella, “my first catcher,” Joe Becker, Dodger pitching coach, John Roseboro, “who caught most of my games,” Walter Alston, “my only manager” and the Dodger organization, “particularly Walter and Peter O’Malley.Los Angeles Times, August 8, 1972 Koufax won three Cy Young Awards and pitched four no-hitters, including a perfect game in 1965. He was the third player in Walter O’Malley’s years to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, following in the footsteps of Jackie Robinson (1962) and Roy Campanella (1969).

August 7, 1978

Former Tokyo Giant Manager Tetsuharu Kawakami is in Los Angeles to view the Dodgers play at Dodger Stadium. Kawakami managed the Tokyo Giants from 1961 to 1974 and led the Giants to nine consecutive Japan Series titles. Kawakami played first base for the Tokyo Giants against the Dodgers on the team’s 1956 goodwill tour in Japan.

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