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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

August 29

August 29, 1938

A key member of the Freeport, Long Island Tuna Club, Walter O’Malley suffers a broken ankle and shin bone while fishing in the Adirondacks, meaning his opportunity to participate in the first U.S. Atlantic Tuna Tournament one week later vanishes.

August 29, 1953

Servicemen from the New York area who were prisoners of war in Korea were invited guests of Walter O’Malley for a Dodger game. The nine soldiers were treated to a luncheon in the Ebbets Field press room and introduced to the Ebbets Field crowd. Pfc. Rafael Mora Rora threw out the first ball.The Sporting News, August 29, 1953

August 29, 1957

Russell Burch, president of the Swedish Hospital in Brooklyn, thanks Walter O’Malley for “Swedish Hospital Night” at Ebbets Field. Tickets were made available for patrons of Swedish Hospital and an announcement was made during the game to promote the hospital’s building fund campaign. Burch writes, “Although I can’t boost of any Swedish blood, I believe the saying goes ‘Tack för sist’ to which may be added our deepest gratitude.”

August 29, 1961

Walter O’Malley writes the Ministry of Public Works, Bureau of Architecture in Santiago, Chile of the fine work done by Vinnell Corporation in the construction of Dodger Stadium. The Bureau of Architecture had requested an opinion from O’Malley on the progress of construction of Dodger Stadium and O’Malley was happy to oblige. “We are pleased to report that our general contractor, Vinnell Constructors, which is a division of Vinnell Corporation, has prosecuted their work diligently and consequently is ahead of their construction schedule...Our organization can, without limitation, recommend the Vinnell people for any construction work which you may be contemplating. We write this letter with the sincere belief that no other contractor could or would have been able to meet the unusual challenges of this job with the patience that this firm has shown.

August 29, 1965

Chuck Connors tells a reporter from the Associated Press why he became an actor instead of a major league baseball player. “Unfortunately,” said Connors, “I came along at the same time as Gil Hodges. That explains why I’m an actor.” When asked why Connors had Dodger President Walter O’Malley appear as a doctor in his television show, “Branded,” Connors replied, “I want to get him in training to deliver a pennant and a world championship.” The Dodgers would go on to win the 1965 World Championship in seven games from the Minnesota Twins.Miami Herald, August 29, 1965

August 29, 1968

Walter O’Malley sends along his best wishes to former Dodger third base coach Preston Gomez who had recently accepted a position as manager of the expansion San Diego Padres for the 1969 season. “I do want you to know of the very high regard in which you were held by me personally and the respect I have for you as an individual. We wish you well and while we are sorry to lose you, yours was a decision that really had to be made under the circumstances.” In his letter to the Dodger organization, O’Malley said of Gomez, “The Dodgers are, of course, sorry to lose the services of a coach as capable as Preston Gomez...Gomez has been a dedicated baseball man and a valuable member of the Dodger organization. San Diego (Padres) has chosen wisely in picking him to lead their club.”

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