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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

March 15

March 15, 1948

Walter O’Malley announces that famous theatrical designer Norman Bel Geddes has drawn plans for a new Brooklyn baseball stadium to seat 80,000 spectators. O’Malley said the stainless steel and concrete structure, which would fit on the site of Ebbets Field, would cost “six million dollars.” Dodger Vice President and General Counsel O’Malley was searching for solutions to replace an aging Ebbets Field, which could park only 700 cars.

March 15, 1960

Florida may be known as the “Sunshine State,” but a heavy storm in Vero Beach, which cancelled an exhibition game against Cincinnati, caused hailstones the size of baseballs to fall on Holman Stadium covering the field with ice chunks. Upon looking at the diamond filled with white ice, Walter O’Malley said, “This is the first time that I ever saw a whole field full of baseballs I didn’t buy.”Vero Beach Press Journal, March 16, 1960

March 15, 1960

Walter O’Malley talks about the advantages of having Spring Training in Vero Beach, Florida. “It is not a question of what we have in Dodgertown, entirely, but what it would cost to duplicate the setup here. We have something no other team can match. Here we bring in all of our major and minor league players to one spot. Here in Florida our whole Dodger staff gets a look at every player we have under contract. We have seven fields, plus all the other equipment that no other clubs have at their disposal. You can see that our advantages are multiple.”Paul Zimmerman, Los Angeles Times, March 16, 1960

March 15, 1965

Paul Zimmerman, Sports Editor of the Los Angeles Times, asks Walter O’Malley for his thoughts about the type of man he would like to see succeed Baseball Commissioner Ford. C. Frick. “I’d like a fellow who would take the book; throw it in the furnace and say ‘I’ll make my own rules.’ A firm commissioner would be very desirable,” said O’Malley. Zimmerman wanted to know the difference between a “firm” and a “strong” commissioner. O’Malley said, “A strong man might be like a powerful golfer, hooking one day and slicing another. Baseball needs a firm man who will be consistent.” General William D. Eckert succeeded Frick as Baseball Commissioner on November 17, 1965 by a unanimous vote of 20 major league club owners.

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