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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

June 3

June 3, 1958

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The largest turnout for a non-presidential election (62.3%) results in Los Angeles voters passing “Proposition B” referendum with 351,683 voting in favor of the previously approved contract between the Dodgers and the City of Los Angeles, clearing a major hurdle for Walter O’Malley and the Dodgers to begin the construction of Dodger Stadium. During the evening, O’Malley attends the Dodger game against the Cincinnati Reds at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum where he focuses on the voting returns, while watching the Dodgers lose 8-3. Even with a growing margin for the “YES” vote on “Proposition B,” O’Malley refused to comment about the lead, other than to say, “I well remember Charles Evans Hughes going to bed thinking he had won (the 1916 Presidential race) and waking up to find he had lost. And I can recall putting in an order for champagne when the Dodgers led the Giants 2-0 (actually 4-1) in the ninth inning of the playoff for the pennant in 1951. Bobby Thomson hit that unforgettable home run and the Giants had the champagne party. This thing isn’t won yet. I doubt if there will be anything conclusive until late afternoon (June 4). The only one sure of winning tonight was Cincinnati.” The final margin of victory for “Proposition B” was 25,785 votes.Bud Furillo, Los Angeles Herald-Express, June 4, 1958

June 3, 1959

In the office of Los Angeles City Council President and Acting Mayor John S. Gibson, Jr.,Walter O’Malley signs the official contract with the City of Los Angeles and the Dodgers. The agreement calls for O’Malley to privately finance, build, pay taxes on and maintain Dodger Stadium, along with transferring Wrigley Field in L.A., valued at $2.25 million to the city. In exchange, the land at Chavez Ravine, valued at $2.28 million would be available to the Dodgers, who would also provide a 40-plus acre recreational area for 20 years (they were to set aside $500,000 and pay $60,000 a year to support such activities for youth). In his 1959 daily reminder book, O’Malley noted, “Anniversary of June 3rd 1958 Referendum!” Gibson says at the signing ceremony, “Anything worth having is worth waiting for. I am signing it as Acting Mayor because Mayor (Norris) Poulson is in Washington, D.C. on official Business on behalf of the City. Both of us have thought all along that this was a good contract and the California State Supreme Court, which upheld it, apparently thought so too...This contract-signing will help speed the day when Mr. O’Malley can begin work on the modern stadium that he plans for the Dodgers in the Chavez Ravine area.”

June 3, 1965

Walter O’Malley gives a speech at the 37th Anniversary Banquet of the National Conference of Christians and Jews in Milwaukee.

June 3, 1967

Walter O’Malley is the keynote speaker for Commencement Exercises at St. Francis High School, where his nephew Walter Walsh is Student Body President and a member of the graduating class. Under the auspices of the Capuchin Franciscans, St. Francis High in La Cañada, California opened in 1946 with 25 seminarian students and has since grown to 600 boys.

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