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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

October 3

October 3, 1951

The shock and disappointment of Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ’Round The World,” a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the New York Giants a dramatic come-from-behind 5-4 win and the National League Pennant, would linger with the Dodgers and Walter O’Malley, his first season as Dodger President. O’Malley visited the Giants’ clubhouse to congratulate Manager Leo Durocher on a fine season. “I told Leo that his team had played the greatest baseball ever heard of and that I wanted to congratulate him in all sincerity. And I meant all of it, right from the heart,” said O’Malley.The New York Times, October 4, 1951 Daily News columnist Jimmy Powers writes, “Walter O’Malley took defeat like a gentleman. Walks around with his head up.”Jimmy Powers, Daily News, October 15, 1951

October 3, 1952

Walter O’Malley puts his fist in the air and celebrates as the Dodgers score two runs in the ninth inning to take a 5-3 lead over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in Game 3 of the World Series. The Dodgers win the game 5-3 and take a two games to one lead in the Series.

October 3, 1956

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President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who is in field box seats next to Walter O’Malley, stands, receives a warm ovation and makes the ceremonial first pitch at Game 1 of the World Series in Ebbets Field. President Eisenhower throws a strike to Dodger catcher Roy Campanella. President Eisenhower also sits with his son Maj. John S. Eisenhower, John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State, George M. Humphrey, Secretary of the Treasury and Ford Frick, Commissioner of Baseball. The Fourteenth Regiment Band played “Hail to the Chief.” It was the first appearance at a World Series game by the President of the United States since Franklin Delano Roosevelt attended Game 2 at Yankee Stadium in 1936. The Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees, 6-3, before 34,479 fans at Ebbets Field. According to O’Malley, President Eisenhower called the final play of the game. With a runner on first and one out, Mickey Mantle came up and the President said, “I’ve seen him hit a home run and I’ve seen him strike out. Now if he should hit into a double play, I’ve seen him do everything.”Times Herald, October 4, 1956 Mantle did just that. The Daily News wrote about the President’s visit, “Almost the entire conversation Eisenhower engaged in at the ball park was with O’Malley and none of this was overheard. He drank a hot cup of coffee midway in the game. Except for standing up at the big plays he relaxed completely in his seat through the game, occasionally leaning forward with two hands on the box rail.”Francis Stephenson, Daily News, October 4, 1956

October 3, 1956

Walter O’Malley slips and tumbles down a flight of marble stairs at the Hotel Bossert in Brooklyn and injures his back. He was taken to Long Island College Hospital for examination. “Nothing is broken and the doctor doesn’t think there is a pulled muscle,” said O’Malley. “So I’ll be at the World Series game (Game 2 at Ebbets Field) unless I am tied down. After being there to welcome a President, I certainly must be there to greet a candidate for the Presidency — and don’t get the idea that the party affiliation has anything to do with it.”The New York Times, October 5, 1956 The Democratic candidate was Adlai Stevenson, originally supposed to throw the ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium, but due to a rain out on October 4, Stevenson would attend the second game at Ebbets Field on October 5.

October 3, 1956

Jackie Robinson hits a solo home run in the second inning and the Dodgers defeat the New York Yankees, 6-3 in Game 1 of the 1956 World Series at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. After entering in a Presidential limousine, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower throws the first ball, the first time a U.S. President threw the first ball in the World Series since 1936.

October 3, 1957

Dodger attorney Henry J. Walsh prepares to meet with Los Angeles City Council members on Sunday, October 6 in advance of the council’s final vote on October 7. According to Associated Press, “The Sunday meeting is designed to clear away several questions before the ordinance is put to a vote. Ten votes of the 15 on the council are necessary to approve the contract. Two councilmen, Patrick D. McGee and Earle D. Baker, who have opposed the contract, indicated they might change their stand if certain questions are answered to their satisfaction.”

October 3, 1957

Walter O’Malley returns from a trip in Wyoming to Los Angeles when a landslide occurred while a contractor was removing some 200,000 cubic yards of dirt in grading work on the site for Dodger Stadium.

October 3, 1965

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R. Buckminster Fuller, the inventor and designer who worked with Walter O’Malley on ideas for a translucent dome stadium in Brooklyn to replace aging Ebbets Field, sends this telegram to O’Malley, after the Dodgers clinched the National League Pennant: “Congratulations magnificent, Walter. Averaging one pennant every 2 years since we started dome talks 14 years ago in (Brooklyn’s) Borough Hall. No wonder I was confident you would win again. That live dangerously psychology is as reliable as it is uncomfortable. When you had the bow string pulled to minus four and one half with only a split second to go I was sure you had it. Would greatly enjoy flying Los Angeles and taking my grandson Jaime Snyder to World Series game if you can arrange for me to buy tickets. If so please telegrah (sp.) collect 715 South University, Carbondale, Illinois what date and where to send money and how much. Buckminster Fuller.”

October 3, 1976

The Dodgers play their final game for Manager Walter Alston, but lose to San Diego, 3-2. Alston managed the Dodgers for 23 seasons, winning four World Championships and seven National League pennants. After his final season, he ranks 5th highest in wins among major league managers and is 8th highest in winning percentage of .558. He is elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983.

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