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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

January 4

January 4, 1952

Jackie and Rachel Robinson meet with Walter O’Malley at the Dodger offices at 215 Montague Street in Brooklyn.

January 4, 1955

Walter O’Malley writes a letter to broadcaster Vincent Scully stating, “John Johns (advertising agency executive) told me a few minutes ago that all negotiations with you, Connie (Desmond), and Andre (Baruch) have been completed and I am now free to resume ordinary social amenities. Why not come in some day and we will go to lunch, and at a later date, I have asked Connie to have you three join me also.”

January 4, 1956

“No. 1 Men of the Year” are recognized on the cover of The Sporting News (Vol. 140, Number 23) and Walter O’Malley is depicted as a caricature as the Major League Executive of the Year for the Dodgers, coming on the heels of their 1955 World Championship. Other Dodgers who were honored by the publication are Walter Alston, Major League Manager of the Year and center fielder Duke Snider, Major League Player of the Year. O’Malley insisted that his Vice Presidents Fresco Thompson and E. J. “Buzzie” Bavasi should share in the honor. “I would have had no chance for this distinction had it not been for Bavasi and Thompson,” said O’Malley. “This organization was set up from the start with both of them taking full responsibility for their positions. They are executives in their own right and have always acted in that capacity.” O’Malley also announced that a new batting cage and new practice infield (half-field) were added to Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida.The Sporting News, January 4, 1956

January 4, 1956

Walter O’Malley replies in a letter to Los Angeles Examiner columnist Vincent X. Flaherty regarding Flaherty’s desire to see the Dodgers make their future home in L.A. Flaherty even sent an architect’s sketch of a possible baseball stadium. “We are awaiting a long overdue report on our Brooklyn ambition and I frankly will not seriously consider anything else until and unless we get a final brush off locally. It is my sincere belief that the Dodgers belong in Brooklyn. If the Dodgers are forced to move it will not be because I have failed to do everything within my power to bring our problem to the attention of the proper authorities and the fans. If and when we ever have to move it will be quite practical at that time to give full consideration to your many suggestions.”

January 4, 1957

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The Dodgers make a major move forward in transportation with the purchase of a new 44-passenger Convair 440 metropolitan twin-engine airplane in San Diego. The Dodgers were to take delivery of the plane, complete with reclining seats, in mid-March. The Convair, purchased for $734, 908.96, had a top cruising speed of 280 miles per hour. Walter O’Malley said, “This is the first time a major league club has bought an airplane. We tried a plane once before experimentally to transport our farm clubs but the DC-3 we used was too small and we decided to get a bigger plane.”Associated Press, January 4, 1957

January 4, 1962

Walter and Kay O’Malley are dinner guests of Barron Hilton, joined by Los Angeles sports columnist Melvin Durslag and his wife Lorayne. The dinner, held at L’Escoffier at the Beverly Hilton’s penthouse, was social.

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