Short Stops

No-nos...and They Were There!

On the occasion of Carl Erskine’s 5-0 no-hitter over the Chicago Cubs on June 19, 1952, Dodger President Walter O’Malley presents him with a $500 check. Joining in the exuberant celebration are Carl Furillo, Preacher Roe, Roy Campanella and Manager Charlie Dressen.

Twenty-three no -hitters – the most in Major League Baseball – have been thrown by Dodger pitchers since 1890. Of those 23, a total of 15, or 65 percent, came under the O’Malley family ownership of the Dodgers. While Walter O’Malley was Dodger owner, 10 no-hitters were accomplished by Dodger pitchers, starting with Ed Head on April 23, 1946 and Rex Barney on September 9, 1948.

O’Malley became part-owner of the Dodgers with Branch Rickey and prominent insurance executive Andrew Schmitz, as they purchased 25 percent of the shares of stock on November 1, 1944. On August 13, 1945, O’Malley, Dodger President Rickey and their new partner John L. Smith (later President of Pfizer & Company) purchased 50 percent more stock, increasing the triumvirate’s holdings to 75 percent of the shares. Dearie Mulvey, daughter of former Dodger President Stephen McKeever, and her husband James owned the other 25 percent of the shares of stock.

Dodger left-hander Sandy Koufax enjoyed phenomenal success in the early 1960s, including pitching three no-hitters and one perfect game. After each of those special performances, Koufax autographed one of the game-used baseballs to Walter O’Malley. Here is a 1962 baseball from June 30, as Koufax no-hit the New York Mets, 5-0, at Dodger Stadium. He writes on the baseball, “To Mr. O’Malley, I am very glad it happened in your new stadium.”

After he became club President in 1950, O’Malley oversaw seven no-hitters by the Dodgers, while his son Peter was President (beginning on March 17, 1970) for six of the no-hitters. The Bill Singer no-hitter on July 20, 1970 happened while Walter was Chairman of Board and Peter was President. Ten years would pass until the next Dodger no-hitter by Jerry Reuss on June 27, 1980. Again, 10 years would pass after the Reuss gem until Fernando Valenzuela earned a no-no against St. Louis on June 29, 1990.