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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

October 4

October 4, 1952

Walter O’Malley settled a friendly dispute between the Cleveland Indians’ owner Bill Veeck and a Cleveland executive. Veeck claimed the Dodgers had never drawn more than 1,800,000 fans to Ebbets Field. O’Malley, appointed as the referee, said the Dodgers had more than 1,800,000 fans attend games in 1946 at home and the Cleveland owner settled up.Chicago Tribune, October 5, 1952

October 4, 1955

The Dodgers become the World Champions for the first and only time in Brooklyn as 23-year-old Johnny Podres shuts out the rival New York Yankees, 2-0, in Game 7 at Yankee Stadium. Replacement outfielder Sandy Amoros makes a spectacular catch by the left field stands in the sixth inning and turns the twisting drive by Yankees catcher Yogi Berra into a double play to save the day. The victory sets off a wild celebration in the Borough of Brooklyn into the wee morning hours, as the old phrase “Wait ’Til Next Year” is finally put to rest. The Dodgers celebrate at a party held at the Hotel Bossert. New York Governor Averell Harriman writes the following telegram, “Congratulations to all of you. It will be a long time before we forget Johnny Podres’ pitching today; Gil Hodges’ single and long sacrifice fly; Sandy Amoros’s catch and throw in the eighth (it was actually the sixth), and the great ball everyone of you played.” A Tribute to the 1955 Dodgers

October 4, 1955

Johnny Podres shuts out the New York Yankees, 2-0 at Yankee Stadium in Game 7 as the Dodgers win their first World Championship. Podres is helped by a sixth inning catch by Sandy Amoros of a fly ball hit by the Yankees’ Yogi Berra that is turned into a double play and ends a Yankee rally.

October 4, 1957

An internal memorandum by Walter O’Malley shares his review of the facts about Los Angeles: “Our $3,000,000 deal with Mr. (Philip) Wrigley for the Los Angeles property and franchise came at a time when we were convinced that our efforts to acquire land in New York City on which to build a stadium with our own money could not be accomplished. Following the public announcement of the Los Angeles purchase, a group of Los Angeles people including the Mayor, City Council members, City Administrator, County Supervisors and Assistant County Administrative officer volunteered a visit to Vero Beach, Fla...The next significant step was my acceptance of an official invitation from Los Angeles to visit the city. I did that in May...I was then officially invited to inspect Chavez Ravine and to fly over it in a helicopter which I did. This was followed by a meeting with administrative officers for the county and the city, the lawyers for both groups and I believe some engineers. A memorandum of this meeting was prepared by City Attorney Roger Arnebergh and you will note that the acreage dropped from the original 450 to 600 acres to 350 acres...Considerable delay followed this meeting in May until the next official step which was the appointment of an official negotiator, Mr. H. C. McClellan, who, I was told, was empowered to represent the city and to coordinate efforts with the county supervisors...Mr. McClellan and I finally agreed on terms which are now before the City Council for approval in the form of an ordinance. It is important to note that the land has been further reduced and is now approximately 307 acres, less 40 acres for a youth recreational center...Baseball capital has not built a stadium in the past 25 years and those that were built were financed by municipal and county governments and rented at nominal rentals to baseball clubs. For the most part they are municipal ‘white elephants.’”

October 4, 1958

A joyous occasion for Kay and Walter O’Malley, as daughter Terry is married to Roland Seidler at St. Therese Church in Alhambra, California. Cardinal (James) McIntyre officiated at the service, assisted by the Rev. Patrick A. Gallagher of New York. Terry, who worked as the secretary for the Dodgertown Camp for Boys in Vero Beach, Florida after graduating from the College of New Rochelle, NY, wore a bouffant taffeta gown embroidered with Alencon lace, with a sheer veil caught in a tiny cap. Her flowers were white roses and Bells of Ireland. A reception for the bride and groom was held at the Huntington-Sheraton Hotel in Pasadena. News reports noted that a group of uninvited guests — small boys — huddled outside the church with baseballs waiting for proud father Walter to sign autographs. He gladly obliged after he kissed Terry and shook hands with his son-in-law Rollie. O’Malley writes the name “Terry” and circles it in his appointment book for the day.

October 4, 1959

In Game 3 of the 1959 World Series, the Dodgers invite Hall of Fame outfielder Zack Wheat to throw the ceremonial first pitch. It is the first World Series game to be played in Los Angeles. John Raitt, star of light opera and television, sings the national anthem as the Dodgers host the Chicago White Sox at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Many entertainers were on hand to view the first World Series in Los Angeles, including Frank Sinatra who commented, “It’s a jazzy deal, Daddy-O.” Entertainer Jack Benny was also in attendance and beamed proudly, “I paid cash.”The Sporting News, October 14, 1959 The Dodgers and Don Drysdale win 3-1 in the first of three straight games of record crowds of 92,000-plus who jam the Coliseum.

October 4, 1959

The Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Chicago White Sox 3-1 behind Don Drysdale and Larry Sherry’s pitching and Carl Furillo’s tie-breaking single. More than 90,000 fans attend the World Series games in Los Angeles for each of the three dates played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

October 4, 1962

Walter O’Malley lifts the morale of his devastated front office as he provides them with transportation and tickets to one of the first two World Series games in San Francisco. The Dodgers had lost the 1962 National League Pennant in the final inning of the three-game playoff. “They all worked hard during the last few weeks and they deserved to be rewarded,” said O’Malley.The Sporting News, October 20, 1962

October 4, 1963

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce issues a press release stating the Dodgers contribute $40 million a year to area economy. By playing in the World Series in 1963, the Dodgers add economic benefits of an extra $1,691,200, according to the chamber’s survey. “Visitors to Dodger Stadium distribute approximately $40 million a year within Greater Los Angeles — outside of the stadium — when they attend Dodger games alone,” the Chamber release reads. The Chamber said that Dodger Stadium attendance directly and indirectly added $3600 a day to California state income this year through sales taxes. Out-of-town fans spend an estimated $50.50 per 24 hours in Los Angeles, exclusive of baseball tickets, parking and concessions.

October 4, 1964

Dodger infielder Jim Gilliam singles in the final game of the season and is given a warm ovation by the fans and his Dodger teammates as the Dodger Message Board announces that Gilliam will become a coach for the Dodgers in 1965. Bob Hunter wrote in The Sporting News, “(The signing) was a master (Walter) O’Malley stroke that made Gilliam a coach and his work in this capacity is bound to be reflected in the success of future Dodger teams.”Bob Hunter, The Sporting News, October 24, 1964 Gilliam would return to the active roster as a player-coach in 1965 and 1966 and was a World Series hero for his game-saving play in the seventh game of the 1965 World Series.

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