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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

July 12

July 12, 1949

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Walter O’Malley attends the 1949 All-Star Game played at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. The American League won the high-scoring contest, 11-7.

July 12, 1952

A letter by Walter O’Malley to H. J. Osborne of Vero Beach, Florida confirms that Osborne’s bid for the construction of what will become Holman Stadium is the lowest. “It is our intent to offer you a contract to do the work. This obligation will become final on you and us only on the execution of the formal contract. A formality will have to be completed by us with the City Council of Vero Beach amending our present lease to permit the contemplated improvement. We shall proceed immediately to conclude the matter and to submit a draft of contract for your consideration.” Osborne had 90 days to complete the grading, concrete, fill work, ramps and fence for the stadium.

July 12, 1974

James A. Farley, Honorary Chairman of the Board of The Coca-Cola Export Corporation in New York, writes a letter to Walter O’Malley thanking him for his support of the Little League Foundation. “I am delighted to see that your team is moving along so well, and at this time of the year it looks like they have enough going for them to go all the way. It would please me very much to see them not only win the pennant, but see them successful in the World Series,” said Farley. “Your letter, Walter, of course brings back memories of other days when our paths crossed more frequently, and also of my close association with your father (Edwin J. O’Malley) during the years of his activities (in the appointed position as Commissioner of Public Markets in New York). I still remember him most pleasantly.” On May 16, 1974, Farley received the Laetare Medal, the highest award from the University of Notre Dame, presented by its President Theodore M. Hesburgh at the Waldorf-Astoria. Farley gained prominence in national politics and was Postmaster General in the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration.

July 12, 1979

The “First Lady of the Dodgers” Kay Hanson O’Malley, 72, passes away in Los Angeles. Kay initiated the annual Memorial Mass at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida to commemorate those individuals who worked, or were guests, there through the years and are remembered by name each spring. Two of the Dodger-owned airplanes were named in her honor, the “Kay O”, a 1962 Lockheed Electra and the “Kay O’II”, a 1971 Boeing 720-B Fan Jet. As a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother of 12 (at the time) and community volunteer, Kay was a leader in her own right. She was honored as Los Angeles Times’ Woman of the Year in 1971.

July 12, 2002

Akihiro “Ike” Ikuhara, who played a prominent role in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ many international, amateur and professional baseball exchanges, is posthumously inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame. Ceremonies are held during the Japanese League All-Star Game at the Tokyo Dome. Ikuhara’s wife Kimiko, son Mutsuo, daughter Susan, brothers Nobuhisa, Masanori and Yoshitaka and sister Yoko are among the family members in attendance. Ikuhara was hired by Walter O’Malley in 1965 and sent to Spokane, Washington to work with Peter O’Malley, who was President and General Manager of the Triple-A Spokane Indians, to learn more about the business of baseball. A graduate of Waseda University in Japan in 1959, Ikuhara worked for 27 years for the Dodgers, including serving for 10 years as assistant to President Peter O’Malley, who was also in attendance for the induction ceremonies. Ikuhara wrote two books published in Japan, “A Real Pro — Becoming a Major Leaguer” and “Dodger Way — A Winning Tradition.” Ikuhara passed away in October 1992 from cancer at the age of 55.

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