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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

March 24

March 24, 1951

Walter O’Malley discusses the possibility of a managership of the Montreal Royals with superstar Jackie Robinson “when his playing days are terminated.” “Jackie told me that he would be both delighted and honored to tackle this managerial post,” said O’Malley, according to Larry O’Brien of The Standard in Montreal. “He told me that he always held a soft spot in his heart for Montreal and so do I.” Robinson responded to O’Malley, “It’s like a wonderful dream.”

March 24, 1951

In the Brooklyn Eagle, this story about Walter O’Malley told by the Dodger President: “Judge (Henry L.) Ughetta and Harry Hickey, two of our directors, were at the game the night the Giants were giving us that awful drubbing. I wasn’t sitting with ’em, but was down in a field box. Behind ’em were a couple of gentlemen from Brooklyn. This is what they get for letting (Branch) Rickey go, one of ’em declared in hurt anger. ‘Do you see that chowderhead down there? He’s responsible.’ Naturally, I was the chowderhead to whom he was referring.”Brooklyn Eagle, March 24, 1951

March 24, 1952

The training methods of the Dodgers are highlighted on the cover of Newsweek magazine in the story “Intensified Spring Baseball Training Methods...Speed Up Development of Draft-Drained Talent.” Many photographs from the Dodgertown base in Vero Beach, Florida are included in the article.

March 24, 1954

Harold C. Burr, introducing readers of the Brooklyn Eagle to Bud Holman, the man most responsible for attracting the Dodgers to train in Vero Beach, Florida, states, “He’s a Dodger director and a director, too, of one of the world’s largest airplane companies (Eastern). He got so mad last year when the Vero games were not broadcast that he’s started his own radio company. He owns and operates an orange grove that’s larger than Manhattan Island with its 32 square miles. Mr. Holman recently refused an offer of a million dollars for the right to pick his crop of citrus fruit...His beef cattle range over 20,000 acres. Thirty-three guests can sleep in what he calls his ranch house. It’s built on a mound in the heart of the jungle, the old graveyard of the Seminole warriors. While making the fireplace they dug up the skeleton of an Indian wearing a locket. Experts decided the locket was 200 years old. The eight-mile Blue Cypress lake is stocked with ducks, geese, bass, perch and alligators. On the game trails are wild turkey, deer, honey bears and wildcats...The thought of making a speech in public leaves him cold and inarticulate. But he loves to sit down for a night of poker with his cronies.”The Sporting News, March 24, 1954

March 24, 1962

Fujio Nakazawa, President of the Pacific League of Professional Baseball Clubs in Japan, writes the following to Walter O’Malley, “We take great pleasure in sending congratulations to you for the completion of your new stadium. I know (Dodger Stadium) is going to be top in every way. You have my best wishes for your continued success in baseball world.”

March 24, 1962

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A congratulatory letter is sent by Walter O’Malley to actor Ray Bolger for his fine reviews in the new musical “All American” playing at the Winter Garden Theater in New York. Walt pens to Bolger in the salutation his character name, “Dear Professor Fodorski, The reviews...are highly flattering to you and they read like you have another hit.”

March 24, 1965

Walter O’Malley is quoted in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, “If the Dodgers are off to a slow start, or don’t produce, it means we haven’t provided (Manager Walter) Alston with the horses. Don’t blame him, blame me. We’d better not get off bad, but if we do I’m sure it’ll be only because of an unforeseen injury. I’m convinced of that.” The 1965 Dodgers went on to a successful season, winning the World Championship. It was the third World Series title for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

March 24, 1968

The Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates split two Spring Training exhibition games at Queen Elizabeth Sports Complex in Nassau, Bahamas. After losing the previous day, the Dodgers won 4-0. With the support of Major League Baseball, Walter O’Malley arranged for the goodwill series which drew nearly 4,000 fans per game, with tickets sold for $5 and $6 apiece.

March 24, 1968

Walter O’Malley serves on the honorary committee to salute Art Linkletter as the 1968 B’nai B’rith “Man of the Year.”

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