Reference Biography: Walter O’Malley

Home Sweet Home

O’Malley started to get his family’s roots settled in Los Angeles. His wife, Kay, an enthusiastic fan of baseball, was Walter’s great friend and love. At their north shore Alpine-like chalet in Lake Arrowhead, nearly 90 miles east of Los Angeles and exactly one-mile high, Kay and Walter could get away from the fast-paced life of team ownership and enjoy the calm serenity of the blue skies and equally blue crystal clear water. When business kept him closer to Los Angeles, O’Malley had a suite and office in the Statler Hotel at 930 Wilshire Boulevard that he used for the night. During the complicated construction process of Dodger Stadium, O’Malley literally lived at the Statler in order to be close to the process and conduct countless meetings. An avid outdoorsman, O’Malley loved to boat and fish on the lake. He even named his 20-foot Chris Craft boat which motored around the lake, KayO, for his wife.

Walter O’Malley worked and resided at the Statler Hotel in Los Angeles, allowing him to completely monitor the nearby Dodger Stadium construction project.

Delmar Watson

Walter O’Malley’s business card in Los Angeles when his downtown office was located on Wilshire Boulevard.

“I like Lake Arrowhead,” said O’Malley. “I like the water. Once I got out of college, from that time on, we’ve always lived on the water back East. I like boating, fishing and sailing. Lake Arrowhead gives us a change of seasons. You can see the leaves change. I can get away from the phone calls and just relax up there, play golf and enjoy the outdoors. I feel our hours and days are very long and I like to get away occasionally when the team is not at home. My wife is an excellent driver and I can get caught up with the newspapers and magazines and office papers while we’re driving up and down (the mountain).” Walter O’Malley on KFI Radio with host Loren Peterson, 1965

Terry O’Malley Seidler, son John and Kay O’Malley enjoy a family boat ride on Lake Arrowhead, CA in 1959.

Walter O’Malley admires the view from his Lake Arrowhead chalet, located exactly one mile high.

O’Malley described his chalet in the mountains, “It’s a bit unusual. It’s built on the side of a hill and the living room floor just happens to be exactly 5,280 feet high, so it is one mile high. Kay has put a great deal of effort into making it a comfortable place. It’s not fancy at all. For example, we don’t have help at all. We do our own work and that gives us the privacy that we look for in our Lake Arrowhead retreat.”

O’Malley was also equally comfortable in the kitchen, where he often baked sourdough bread or made his daughter, Terry and son, Peter, blueberry pancakes for breakfast.

“I like to cook,” said O’Malley. “Sometimes, the family is quite complimentary. Actually, it is something for me to do that keeps me on my feet and keeps my mind off a lot of problems. It is good recreation. Very few people today bake bread. I think there’s nothing more interesting in a home than to smell bread baking in the oven. I keep a sourdough pot going all the time and we can always dip into it and make sourdough pancakes or waffles or sourdough French bread, which I think is pretty good bread.” Ibid.

But, always by his side was his friend and confidant, Katharina “Kay Kay” O’Malley. Perhaps, his wife was the more rabid baseball fan of the two. She greatly enjoyed being around the game, the players and her family. A decade later, Kay was named as one of the 10 Los Angeles Times’ Woman of the Year recipients. Los Angeles Dodgers Press Release, December 16, 1971