This Day in Walter O’Malley History:

  • New York Governor Thomas Dewey and his sons were guests of Dodger Vice President Walter O’Malley at Ebbets Field. Dewey was Governor from 1943-55 and later failed in two attempts as a Republican candidate for U.S. President (1944 and 1948). He is, perhaps, best known for the headline in the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1948 that read, “Dewey Defeats Truman” for the presidential election. Miscalculations by pollsters and press led to the projected winner and the resultant printed headline. Harry S. Truman, the incumbent, was the actual winner.

  • Walter Lanier “Red” Barber writes the following letter to Walter O’Malley about a Dodger record album following the 1959 season narrated by his protégé Vin Scully: “Dear Walter, I’m doubly grateful — one to you for your thoughtfulness in sending ‘The Dodger Family,’ and, two, for Vince’s kind words. However, his success he earned for himself. Everybody gets a chance. Thank you again, and all personal good wishes. Sincerely, Red.” In O’Malley’s note to Barber on July 22, he wrote: “Dear Walter: Your ‘boy’ has a long memory and that is refreshing. He remembers that you gave him his first real chance. Sincerely, Walter F. O’Malley.”

  • The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors rule against Walter O’Malley in his tax battle with County Assessor Philip E. Watson regarding the valuation of Dodger Stadium. O’Malley’s attorney, James Arditto, states that the decision will be appealed. In the longest tax equalization case in County history, more than 10 hours of testimony had been heard. The final vote was 2-2, with Supervisors Frank G. Bonelli and Ernest Debs favoring assessment reductions for the Dodgers, while Supervisors Burton Chase and Warren Dorn voted against them. Illness prevented Supervisor Kenneth Hahn from voting. The assessment of $8,200,000 (25 percent of market value) was approved, based on Assessor Watson’s appraisal of the stadium’s fair market value at $32.3 million, a figure with which O’Malley and Arditto vehemently disagreed. O’Malley had two private appraisal experts who reported that the value was at $19.5 and $19.3 million, respectively. The tax bill would increase O’Malley’s payments by some $250,000 per annum. Howard Kennedy, Los Angeles Times, July 26, 1963; The Sporting News, August 3, 1963  The banner headline on Page 1 of the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner reads “O’Malley Loses It”.