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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

September 24

September 24, 1952

Walter O’Malley sends a letter to Happy Felton authorizing him to use a studio at Ebbets Field for a postgame television program after World Series games. “The rights fee involved covers only those games that are played at Ebbets Field, whether two or four,” O’Malley writes. Entertainer Felton was the TV host of “Happy Felton’s Knothole Gang” shows in the 1950s. Also, the Brooklyn Dodgers celebrate the winning of the National League Pennant at the Hotel Lexington in New York City.

September 24, 1954

Former Dodger Manager Charlie Dressen, one year removed from his departure in 1953, returns to Brooklyn to have lunch with Walter O’Malley and attend a Dodger game.

September 24, 1957

Walter O’Malley attends the final game played in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field before only 6,702 fans and watches pitcher Danny McDevitt of the Dodgers blank the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-0.

September 24, 1957

Los Angeles Examiner columnist Vincent X. Flaherty writes a letter to Walter O’Malley on stationery from the St. Regis Hotel in New York City to praise a Los Angeles city councilwoman. “You should call...Councilwoman Rosalind Weiner Wyman...I have been telegramming her to death. She went on television last night...on your behalf. She is a smart cookie, and all right.” Councilwoman Wyman was most influential in bringing the Dodgers to Los Angeles. Also, on this date, Los Angeles Times baseball writer Frank Finch has lunch with O’Malley as the decision for the Dodgers’ future approaches.

September 24, 1961

In his column in the Los Angeles Examiner, Vincent X. Flaherty sums up the four years the Dodgers played in the vast Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. “When it was first suggested by The Examiner, not as an ideal site for baseball, but as a stop-gap stadium in which major league could be played, and lured to Los Angeles, all the rest hooted the very thought. All during that long campaign the suggestion that major league could be brought here was variously called a ‘pipe dream’ and a silly promotional device to lure readers. But if and when it came, the very idea of playing ball in the Coliseum was the last straw of stupidity. The Coliseum Commission itself was stubbornly against it. Engineers were called in by the Commission and said baseball just couldn’t be played there. One went on record as saying a little baseball couldn’t be seen from the upper seats...In 1953 (County) Supervisor Kenneth Hahn started fighting to get baseball for the Coliseum. His fellow commissioners derided him. His was the lone affirmative vote whenever he sought to break open the gates...Later Hahn finally got a political ally when (City Councilwoman) Rosalind Wyman was appointed to the Commission. But even they were two against the world...In stadium rental, concessions and parking, the Coliseum has earned a whopping net profit of just under $2 million for the four years. Slightly under eight million people paid to see ball games in the Coliseum. Unwanted by the Coliseum, the Dodgers became the most lucrative stadium tenant in the history of sports (or any other form of entertainment). They paid the highest rental in the country and gave the Coliseum the highest concession revenue of all time.”Vincent X. Flaherty, Los Angeles Examiner, September 24, 1961

September 24, 1963

The Dodgers clinch the National League Pennant in 1963 as the St. Louis Cardinals suffered their sixth straight loss, falling to the Chicago Cubs, 6-3. In the clubhouse after the loss, St. Louis Manager Johnny Keane said the Dodgers would give the American League Champion New York Yankees “an interesting battle” in the World Series. “Any time a club has good pitching, it’s going to be tough in a short series,” said Keane. “Los Angeles has Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Johnny Podres and an excellent bullpen.”AP, September 24, 1963 The Dodgers would sweep the New York Yankees in four World Series games.

September 24, 1971

Al Downing wins his 20th game of the 1971 season with a 2-0 shutout over the Braves in Atlanta.

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