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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

August 27

August 27, 1951

Walter O’Malley surprises Dodger pitcher Clyde King with a new contract while both men were interviewed on television. During the intermission of a Dodger-Pirate doubleheader, O’Malley, King and Pee Wee Reese appeared on a show hosted by Dodger broadcaster (as described by Ben Gould in The Sporting News) Vincent Scully. During the interview, O’Malley reached into his pocket and told King, “Here is your old one (contract), tear it up.” O’Malley then produced a second contract and asked King to sign a new contract and Reese acted as witness. Scully said that King was so excited he failed to sign his complete name. A moment later, King asked to end the interview saying, “I’m dying to see how much I’m getting under the new contract.”The Sporting News, September 5, 1951

August 27, 1952

The minutes from the meeting of the stockholders of the Brooklyn Dodgers detail that “Mr. (Walter) O’Malley then discussed the name of the stadium, and called to the attention of the Board the inestimable services that Mr. Bud Holman made in establishing cordial relations between the Brooklyn Baseball Club and the people and the City Council of Vero Beach, and it was his opinion fitting that Mr. Holman be rewarded by having the stadium named after him. After discussion, it was the unanimous opinion of the Board that the stadium should be named after Mr. Holman, and, on motion, duly made, seconded and unanimously carried, it was RESOLVED, that in consideration of the assistance given by Mr. Holman in the establishment of cordial relations between the people of Vero Beach and the Brooklyn National League Baseball Club, and in gratitude for Mr. Holman’s efforts in helping to achieve the success of the Vero Beach Camp that the stadium being erected at Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida, be named “HOLMAN STADIUM”, and that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Mr. Holman.”

August 27, 1956

The science fiction cartoon, “Twin Earths” published by United Features Syndicate has two men using a “Tele-Brain” to design a modern baseball stadium to be used by the Brooklyn Dodgers. The cartoon was written to demonstrate potential technological advances that might occur in the future. The modern stadium in the cartoon featured an electric powered roof that would open or close depending on the weather along with grandstands that would move by electric power to make the field adaptable for several types of sporting events.Twin Earths, United Features Syndicate, August 27, 1956

August 27, 1956

The Dodgers were playing in Milwaukee and a guest at the team hotel walked up to Brave owner Lou Perini and asked for help in getting three tickets for the Brave-Dodger game. The Brave team president graciously agreed to provide three complimentary tickets to the fan for the game. The happy fan told Perini, “Thanks a lot. Now we can go out and root for the Dodgers. I’m sure they’re going to beat the Braves today.” Next, the eager fan then asked Perini for his autograph and Perini did sign his name. The fan read the autograph and then said with some embarrassment, “Oh my gosh. When somebody pointed you out as the owner of the club, I thought you were Walter O’Malley.”The Sporting News, September 5, 1956

August 27, 1957

H.C. “Chad” McClellan makes a presentation to the Los Angeles City Council as the city and county negotiator with Walter O’Malley and the Brooklyn Dodgers to bring the Dodgers to Los Angeles. McClellan said, “I am personally firmly convinced that the Dodgers are prepared to move to Los Angeles if arrangements satisfactory to them are made.” McClellan also added, “While there are numerous serious problems yet to be overcome, no obstacles seem to confront us which in my judgment are insurmountable.” McClellan said no promises had been made with the Dodgers, but “We simply discussed his (O’Malley’s) needs and desires and what he might expect from Los Angeles. I like the man and believe we can do business with him. I’m sure an equitable plan can be worked out. Our meeting amounted to an exchange of problems, on which we are now working.”Al Wolf, Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1957

August 27, 1960

Walter O’Malley reveals that the Dodgers had rejected a trade involving six young Dodger players where the Dodgers would receive $1,800,000. The club seeking to make the deal was not identified, but young Dodger players who were requested were outfielders Frank Howard, Willie Davis, Ron Fairly, Earl Robinson, infielder Charlie Smith and pitcher Pete Richert. “They are not for sale. We turned the deal down without more than moment’s consideration,” said O’Malley.Los Angeles Examiner, August 27, 1960 Also, on this date, O’Malley announced that Richard B. Walsh was named as vice president. Walsh served as Vice President, Stadium Operations and coordinated the construction of Dodger Stadium for the team. Finally, O’Malley said that the casting of the prefabricated concrete forms, the backbone of the stadium, would begin in three weeks. Over 2,000,000 cubic yards of earth had been moved with an additional 6,000,000 cubic yards still to be done. “If Mother Nature co-operates,” said O’Malley, “we can open the ball park for the first game in 1962.”Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1960

August 27, 1963

Walter O’Malley gives sage advice to a Dodger fan who was looking for work because he didn’t have sufficient funds to attend college. O’Malley wrote Danny Ballinger of Jefferson City, Tennessee, that “Many men went to college who did not have the money to put on the line. They worked their way through college and any young man who is sensible enough to want a college education will not shrink from the thought of working his way through college...Yes, it would be nice to work for a ball club and I appreciate that you would like to work for ours but you would be much more important to us if you now show the courage and determination to finish your education. I am trying to give it to you pretty straight from the shoulder and the rest is up to you.” O’Malley himself attended Fordham University School of Law at night and supported himself by working during the day.

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