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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

August 26

August 26, 1943

A busy Walter O’Malley decides to take a breather from his busy schedule as he writes in his appointment book, “Day off-no kiddin.”

August 26, 1949

Joe Pancoast, reporter for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin writes a story of the tribulations of Walter O’Malley. The Dodgers were in first place by only 1 1/2 games over the St. Louis Cardinals in a tight pennant race and the club was mired in a slump in losing eight of their last 11 games. Pancoast relates that O’Malley, chairman of the United States Atlantic Tuna Tournament, has further problems in the news that a hurricane off the East Coast may interfere with the plans of the tournament. The potential storm will raise havoc with the number of available fish for the event along with the problems of finding sufficient berths for the 84 fishing craft entered. Also, someone will be responsible for ordering nearly 12 tons of bait for chumming operations that may go unused if the tournament cannot be held. Pancoast finishes his story by writing “Wonder who conks O’Malley on the head with a bat these nights so that he can sleep?”Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, August 26, 1949

August 26, 1957

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After the New York Giants baseball team announced they would transfer their franchise from New York to San Francisco, the Dodger organization issued a press release. “The recent announcement that the Giants are leaving New York City has produced renewed interest in the Dodger problem here and abroad. At a meeting this morning with Deputy Mayor (John) Theobald, Brooklyn Sports Center Authority Chairman (Charles) Mylod, Borough President (John) Cashmore and Mr. (Walter) O’Malley the recent reports of Madigan & Hyland were considered. Last Wednesday, a Mr. (Chad) McClellan, representing Los Angeles, solicited the Dodger franchise. He (McClellan) told Mr. O’Malley that Los Angeles is serious in their ambition. Locally the Dodgers are on record as offering to build their own stadium with their own money at Atlantic & Flatbush Avenues if the land can be made available promptly and at common sense figures. For over a year the Dodgers have had a standing offer to put $5,000,000 in a new stadium, to pay $500,000 annual rental plus 5% of gross admissions as a New York City amusement tax. If all efforts fail locally the Dodgers could buy the necessary land in Los Angeles on which to build their own stadium, which would be on the tax rolls. The same program has been offered to New York City where the Dodgers only need the help of the city in condemning the land.”

August 26, 1959

The Sporting News carries a story of Dodger outfielder Don Demeter who felt badly after he had misplayed a ball in the ninth inning that allowed the tying run to score. The Dodgers won in 13 innings and Demeter thanked his teammates profusely after the game. Walter O’Malley gave nothing but encouragement to Demeter. O’Malley sent Demeter a telegram that read “Relax and forget it. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve dropped the ball.”The Sporting News, August 26, 1959

August 26, 1969

Walter O’Malley and Los Angeles County Sheriff Peter Pitchess are guests on the USS Coral Sea aircraft carrier. At the time, Coral Sea was on Western Pacific/Vietnam Deployment from July 29, 1966 until July, 1975. She was the first carrier to have the Pilot Landing Aid Television (PLAT) system installed for operations use on December 14, 1961, which enabled every landing to be videotaped for training purposes and to promote safety.

August 26, 1970

Author and inventor R. Buckminster Fuller sends a note to Walter O’Malley saying “Am looking for that late season Dodgers’ ‘blast-off’ into first place.”

August 26, 1975

Walter O’Malley responds to a note from Col. Ben Barone, Superintendent of Culver Military Academy, where O’Malley had attended high school. Barone had written O’Malley after reading a newspaper article about O’Malley in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. In the article, O’Malley had spoken how he had been injured playing baseball at Culver as his last entry into the sport. Barone wrote, “I’m glad your inauspicious introduction to baseball at Culver did not deter you from your interest in our greatest American sport.” O’Malley writes to thank Barone for his note and states, “My father always told me to read articles such as this with the thought in mind that ‘Half the Lies They Tell About the Irish Are Not True’.”

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