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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

June 22

June 22, 1959

In his comments to the Civil Aeronautics Board at Allison Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, Walter O’Malley claims that poor air service to California is hampering Dodger Spring Training in Vero Beach. O’Malley explains that between 15,000 to 20,000 fans pour into Vero Beach to watch the Dodgers and their minor league clubs. The CAB had conducted hearings for more than a week regarding the need “for expanded air service from the Southeast to the West Coast.” O’Malley said that present air schedules were so bad to the Pacific Coast that he would rather fly from Miami to New York and then to Los Angeles than go by direct route.UPI, The Tampa Times, June 23, 1959

June 22, 1959

While in Miami Beach for hearings of the Civil Aeronautics Board, Walter O’Malley answers baseball questions. On the possibility of a third major league, O’Malley says, “I find it very, very interesting. I’m all for getting away from the stand pat attitude that enveloped baseball for so long. New things are good for the game.” In regards to finding new talent sources for the additional teams, he said, “Let’s put it this way. There isn’t a team in the majors that isn’t always looking for player help. We dipped into Cuba, Puerto Rico and others spots in recent years. No, I think we’re going to find the Little Leagues and comparable organized circuits will be furnishing a fine reservoir of talent for us to tap in the years ahead. That’s the answer to where we will get players.” As to the second All-Star game to be played in August at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, O’Malley said, “I’m not one who sees any sanctity in tradition. There were certain inequities in the Players’ Pension Plan. This game will help erase them. I do not see how in good grace we could have refused the request for it.”Tommy Devine, The Miami News, June 23, 1959

June 22, 1968

Accentuating the positive, Walter O’Malley states that the future of baseball is secure. “It seems that now in every business there is a tremendous amount of negative thinking and very little positive thinking, even in such matters as patriotism, religion, the family. It’s a period we are going through of tear down, don’t build up,” said O’Malley. “It’s a period of tenseness, assassinations, rapes, riots, looting, murder. Everything seems to have the people dejected and depressed. Until we get that feeling of relaxation from tension I think we’ll have to suffer through all the negative thinking that is evident today. I don’t see how baseball today can be considered to be in a sick condition when there are more cities that want franchises and there are more youngsters playing baseball than ever before in the history of the country. I think the future of baseball is pretty good.”Associated Press, June 22, 1968

June 22, 1973

The Dodgers play host to the U.S. All-Stars versus Japanese Stars game at Dodger Stadium.

June 22, 1974

Los Angeles Herald-Examiner columnist Melvin Durslag writes of the attention to detail of Dodger Chairman of the Board Walter O’Malley. “To start with,” writes Durslag, “the ownership spends a lot of money on the product. O’Malley is far too cunning to try to sell a fake commodity 81 times a year. Secondly, Dodger Stadium, unmistakably, is the cleanest sports facility in the world. The floors are waxed. The aisles, the corridors and the washrooms are immaculate...An average of 2,000,000-plus (fans) could be described as lucky, if the Dodgers hadn’t been doing it for almost 17 years. Whatever the details of their method, it is clear that this is no accident. They run a good pushcart, tending to prove that a sport is only as dead as its management.”Melvin Durslag, The Sporting News, June 22, 1974

June 22, 1974

Kay and Walter O’Malley attend an intimate dinner party honoring Cardinal James McIntyre of Los Angeles on the occasion of his 88th birthday. The party, hosted by Monsignor Benjamin G. Hawkes of St. Basil’s Church, is held at the Los Angeles Club, Top of the Union Bank Building in downtown L.A. Cardinal McIntyre served the Los Angeles Archdiocese from 1948-70. Pope Pius XII elevated him to the rank of Cardinal, the first one in the western United States, in 1952.

June 22, 2002

In a column by Michael Holley of the Boston Globe, he writes of his first visit to Dodger Stadium during interleague play. “There is an eight-year difference between us, but I don’t care. She’s an older woman — she’s 40 — and I think I love her...Last evening, for the first time, I attended a game at Dodger Stadium. The place is beautiful. The seats are red and orange and blue and yellow. The field looks as if it were taken from a painter’s easel. The park rests on a hill, so after watching a game, you can capture a view of downtown L.A. while walking to your car. If you want more than baseball, the newer parks give you that. They come equipped with all kinds of side games and diversions. Dodger Stadium is a nature girl who is only slightly pretentious. In this park, there are no ‘bleachers’ in left and right fields. Here, they are known as ‘pavilions.”...Dodger Stadium is known for its grilled hot dogs and its organist. It is the home of a great baseball poet, broadcaster Vin Scully. You can see cars come and go because the outfield seats are low and there is nothing obstructing the view of the San Gabriel mountains...Dear Dodger Stadium, California jewel. I am down on one knee. Consider this a proposal.”Michael Holley, Boston Globe, June 22, 2002

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