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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

March 18

March 18, 1953

At a Special Meeting of the National League at the Vinoy Park Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida, Walter O’Malley moves and Horace Stoneham seconds adoption of a resolution to approve the Boston Braves change of their location to Milwaukee and “substitute Milwaukee for Boston.”

March 18, 1953

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Introducing his new heart-shaped lake on the grounds behind Holman Stadium at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida, Walter O’Malley takes Dodger Director Bud Holman and sportswriter Roscoe McGowen on a little fishing trip. O’Malley made the lake in the shape of a heart as a Valentine to his wife Kay. From McGowen’s account in The Sporting News: “Lake Gowanus (after Brooklyn’s famed canal) is a heart-shaped body of water created by The O’Malley’s construction engineers when they were digging dirt to build that little stadium of which he is so inordinately proud, and which was named after Bud...Are there really fish in this Lake Gowanus, as you call it? was the first innocent but ill-advised question to The O’Malley. ‘Are there fish in it!’ The O’Malley responded, with a slight show of indignation. ‘Are there fish in it? Of course there are fish in it! There are a thousand bass in it and at least one of ’em is a foot and a half long.’ At first it was difficult to observe The O’Malley’s casting technique because the observer was almost blinded by the gaudy sport shirt he was wearing...It bore the illustrated drawings of every fish (The O’Malley claimed) to be caught in American inland or coastal waters. It had maps on it. It had the printed list of every fishing camp and fishing boat captain everywhere in the United States and Canada. ‘This shirt,’ said The O’Malley proudly, ‘is only one of three of its kind ever made. Harry Truman has one, I have this one and the fellow who had ’em made, Sol Yuryn, has the third one.’ Then suddenly the float on his line disappeared and The O’Malley began reeling in the line. Believe it or not, he had a fish and it was a bass.”Roscoe McGowen, The Sporting News, March 18, 1953

March 18, 1965

C. C. Johnson Spink, Publisher of The Sporting News, writes a letter to Walter O’Malley apologizing for not be able to attend the annual St. Patrick’s Day party at Dodgertown. “I don’t guess you realize that you are actually celebrating the birthday of The Sporting News,” wrote Spink. “That’s right, The Sporting News was 79 years old on March 17. How about that? That’s more than our ages put together.”

March 18, 1972

Writing from Dodgertown, Walter O’Malley congratulates former Dodger (1949) turned actor Chuck Connors for the opening of the play “Mary, Mary” in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Connors, a TV and film star, had the show’s lead role. O’Malley notes that he will be in Florida and not able to attend the show’s opening and says, “your old barracks are now a thing of the past and our new swanky quarters are something to behold.”

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