This Day in Walter O’Malley History:

  • In his first-ever visit to Los Angeles, Walter O’Malley holds a press conference at the Statler Hotel and tells the gathering that there are “three reasons why his National League Club was not available to Los Angeles.” He states, “1 — In the last 10 years Brooklyn has drawn more people than any other baseball club except the Yankees. 2 — Substantial progress is being made toward a new stadium in Brooklyn. 3 — The Los Angeles franchise is owned by my good friend Phil Wrigley and I wouldn’t be guilty of invading a friend’s territory.” Paul Zimmerman, Los Angeles Times, October 12, 1956  O’Malley, National League President Warren C. Giles and Dodger Manager Walter Alston attend the press conference as the N.L. Champion Brooklyn Dodgers are on a stopover en route to play a goodwill tour in Japan.

  • Sandy Koufax throws a shutout over the Minnesota Twins, 7-0 in Game 5 of the 1965 World Series and the Dodgers take a 3-2 World Series lead. Centerfielder Willie Davis steals three bases to tie a World Series record set by Pittsburgh’s Honus Wagner on the same date in 1909.

  • Richard M. Nixon writes a letter to Walter O’Malley following the Baltimore Orioles’ four-game sweep of the Dodgers in the World Series. “Dear Walter: I can imagine that you and your Dodger colleagues are pretty depressed about the outcome of the Series. As one who has had some experience in both winning and losing, I just wanted to say that the Dodgers have very much to be proud of. After all, you have been on the winning side far more often than on the losing side and this at least is some consolation. I have written a note to Willie Davis, a copy of which I am enclosing for your files. Since I do not know his address, I would appreciate it if you would see that it is delivered to him. I hope to see you at the (Bohemian) Grove next summer. With best personal regards, Sincerely, Dick.” Future United States President Nixon had lost as the Republican candidate in the 1962 race for California Governor. He moved from California to New York where he was a partner in a prominent law firm and worked to assist other Republican candidates until he announced he was running for President in 1968 on February 1.

  • Bob Hunter, writing in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, shares Walter O’Malley’s philosophy on Dodger Manager Walter Alston, who was rumored to be considering a job with the Cleveland Indians. The Dodgers had just suffered a four-game sweep by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1966 World Series. “There have been a number of attempts, all of which have fell flat, to create an impression that O’Malley, for some reason, is not an Alston man. This is not correct, and never has been. ‘Alston is a perfect gentleman, off the field and on,’ was the way the Dodger owner expressed his feelings about his field leader after the Series. ‘We have tried to create a Dodger image in keeping with the wonderful family support we enjoy in Los Angeles. That’s one reason, for instance, we don’t sell beer in the aisles. We do not want a manager who creates embarrassment. Alston’s demeanor always has been above question, and he is a man who consistently provides the perfect answers.’ I never have heard O’Malley second guess Alston, which is more than I can say about a number of others, the same ones who clap him on the back in victory. ‘We have given him credit for the success of the teams ever since he has been with us,’ continued O’Malley, who always uses the plural pronoun although, in this case, I do not know for sure who he included in ‘we.’ ‘No manager in our history ever had won a world’s championship until Alston came along.” Bob Hunter, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, October 11, 1966

  • Timothy Manning, Archbishop of Los Angeles, writes a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Walter O’Malley: “The courtesy of your sponsorship for the Archbishop’s Christmas Party for Children brings us much comfort. May it return upon you and yours in a benediction. Whatever is done for the least of Christ’s little ones, is done to Him. This Christmas Party and its benefits is eminently a fulfillment of that invitation.”

  • Stuart W. Evey, the founder of ESPN and the former Vice President of Getty Oil Co., writes a letter to Walter O’Malley: “Dear Walter: Knowing of your penchant for ‘freebies’ I thought you would enjoy this handy golf accessory. You probably will have little occasion to use it since you seldom hit a green in regulation causing a divot. At any rate, I am sure you will display it among your more treasured momentos (sp.). Regards, Stu” In his tongue-in-cheek response on October 16, O’Malley says, “My dear Stu: Frankly, I expected something more substantial for my birthday but I will keep it in its virgin state until I can think of somebody else to pass it to which is probably what you did. You might have noticed on radio, TV, newspapers and magazines that I won the World Series of Golf trophy recently. President Nixon unfortunately could not reach me on the phone to congratulate me but he will have other opportunities as I leave tomorrow for the Kaiser Open and then later on the Hawaiian Open. All the best.” O’Malley then adds in a P.S. “One usually spells mementos with an ‘e’ instead of ‘o’, last word your letter.”

  • Bob Welch strikes out the New York Yankees’ Reggie Jackson with two on and two outs in the ninth inning and the Dodgers win Game 2 of the 1978 World Series, 4-3.