Select a date

This Day in Walter O’Malley History

March 8

March 8, 1952

Commenting on privately building a stadium at the Spring Training site of Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida scheduled to open in 1953, Walter O’Malley said, “So far as I know, no other major league club has built a ball park stadium at a training site. But we have a twenty-one year contract here and are looking far ahead.”Roscoe McGowen, New York Times, March 8, 1952

March 8, 1957

According to Leonard Cohen’s “Working Press” column from Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida, “The Dodgers were testing the new pitching machines recently installed here in the batting cage section of the grounds on a trial basis. Walter O’Malley walked up to watch. ‘That’s what I like to see when we experiment with something new that might be injurious to a player — a third-string man in there trying to it out,’ he said. The spectators broke into laughter. The ‘third-stringer’ hitting against the new gadget was Clem Labine. The bullpen ace is reportedly the highest-priced pitcher on the roster at $32,000 per year.”Leonard Cohen, New York Post, March 8, 1957

March 8, 1970

Mitch Chortkoff of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner writes about the special love of Dodgertown by Walter O’Malley. “As you can determine,” said O’Malley, “this is not the Century Plaza Hotel. But it grows on you. I know I’ll come here when I don’t have to anymore. It’s possible to do everything here but attend church. And there were years when we conducted church services in the minor league office. The key word is togetherness. I know of no other spring complex where everyone from top to bottom lives alike.” O’Malley also speaks of necessary changes that were made when Dodger players were confronted with racism in the community. “One time a player was refused use of a Laundromat downtown. The next day we installed two (washing) machines in Dodgertown. On another occasion a player was denied use of a golf course. That’s when we built ours.”Mitch Chortkoff, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, March 8, 1970

March 8, 1970

The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner reports that Walter O’Malley stole an umpire! During an intra-squad game at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida, long time Dodgertown and former minor league umpire Jesse Collyer was working the game. Dodger President O’Malley drove onto the field, ordered the umpire into his car and drove away. Collyer, the longtime mayor of Ossining, New York, was next spotted on the Dodgertown golf course, presumably with O’Malley.

March 8, 1971

Chairman of the Board Walter O’Malley invites retired pitcher Sandy Koufax to visit Dodgertown during Spring Training. “The team has gotten off to a good start, the spirit is excellent and I thought the players and those of us in the front office would get a lift out of having you come back for a visit. If the roof still leaks over your room I will see that you get a first class bucket. P.S. We could still use a pretty fair left handed starter.”

March 8, 1973

Los Angeles Police Chief Ed Davis thanks Walter O’Malley for making a hospital visit to see him at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. “Your visit to the hospital was a really pleasant surprise,” Davis writes.

Back to top