Select a date

This Day in Walter O’Malley History

August 31

August 31, 1959

Sandy Koufax ties the major league record for most strikeouts in a nine inning game when he fans 18 San Francisco Giants en route to a 5-2 win. Wally Moon hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win the game for Sandy and the Dodgers. The 18 strikeouts broke the National League mark of 17 strikeouts by Dizzy Dean set in 1933. Paid attendance was 60,194 but that figure did not include nearly 20,000 fans who had purchased tickets to benefit the Kiwanis Crippled Children’s Fund and almost 3,000 Knothole Club members for a total crowd of 82,794. The Kiwanis fund earned over $30,000 from the sale of tickets as given to them by the Dodger organization. Koufax struck out the side in the fifth, sixth and ninth innings, and fanned two hitters in the first, fourth, seventh and eighth.

August 31, 1964

Walter O’Malley extends his family’s sympathies to George Burns on the passing of Gracie Allen. O’Malley writes, “Gracie gave so much pleasure to the world it will be emptier now without her.”

August 31, 1967

Walter O’Malley writes a letter to Masaichi Nagata, President of the Daiei Motion Picture Company whose holdings include the Daiei Hawks Baseball Club in Japan. O’Malley tells Mr. Nagata that the Dodgers would send a minor league pitching, hitting and infield coach for the Hawks’ Spring Training session that would occur in Maui, Hawaii. O’Malley wrote on the carbon copy of the letter that Dodger personnel he had in mind to attend the Hawks’ camp would be Roger Craig, Duke Snider, and Monty Basgall. Craig pitched for the Dodgers’ 1955 and 1959 World Championship teams and later scouted and managed in the Dodger minor league system. Duke Snider was the Hall of Fame outfielder for the Dodgers. Monty Basgall was a longtime scout, minor league manager and instructor, and bench coach for the Dodgers from 1973 to 1986.

August 31, 1967

Walter O’Malley endorses Fred Benson for a California Municipal Court Judgeship in the South Bay District of Southern California in a letter to Governor Ronald Reagan. O’Malley added he felt qualified to give the recommendation because “a friendship dating back to when our Dodgers first came to California. Fred was our Police Guard for three years while he completed his studies for the California Bar examination.”

Back to top