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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

October 22

October 22, 1946

Capt. Emil Praeger of the engineering firm of Madigan-Hyland writes a letter to Walter O’Malley stating, “I was very glad to hear from you after so long a lapse of time and to receive the program of the Brooklyn-Boston “World’s Series” game...You may be interested to know that at the request of Admiral Moreell I prepared a design for a proposed memorial stadium for Washington, D.C. I have some photographs of a model which was made of this design, renderings and layout plans and if you are interested in seeing them I will be glad to have copies made and forwarded to you. Nothing quite like it has been built and I think that it has some very interesting features. I have been out of the Navy for several months and have been busy on some very interesting projects.” Praeger and O’Malley would work together on designs for several proposed stadium projects. They designed and built Holman Stadium (1953) and Dodger Stadium (1962).

October 22, 1952

A decline in attendance following a successful 1952 Dodger season, led Walter O’Malley to search for answers and make this statement when asked “What do the Dodgers need most for the 1953 season?” “Fans,” he said. “We came very close to winning a world championship this year with a club which had drawn not more than 1,088,600 paid at home, nearly 800,000 under our record. Are you aware of the fact that Detroit, which finished last in the American League, had a Briggs Stadium attendance of 1,026,846? What’s the answer? I wish I knew. Television? Oh, that’s only a minor part of the story. Are our fans surfeited with success? Are they more inclined to support an underdog club than a winner? This year we had an improved team, an improved ball park, concessions well run, order always maintained, and players who intrigued the interest of the fans. Yet we needed a seven-game World Series to pull us out of the red. I am not scolding Brooklyn fans. Maybe we are getting what’s coming to us. Many of the customers have written in that we should have won the pennant by 20 games, not four and a half.”Dan Daniel, New York World-Telegram and Sun, October 22, 1952

October 22, 1961

Walter O’Malley and others pay tribute to famed producer-director Mervyn LeRoy at the Friars testimonial dinner at the Beverly Hilton. More than 1500 sports and entertainment enthusiasts attend. O’Malley began his comments to General Manager Buzzie Bavasi, “See what happens when you don’t win the pennant, Buzzie? You open the show. The Friars are overdoing it for Mervyn, with a choir to sing for him. And I see that Dean Martin is here with his altar boys. If it’s going to be a high mass tonight, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy than this man who has been a warm, personal friend.”Los Angeles Herald Express, October 23, 1961

October 22, 1966

In the first game of the 1966 Dodger Goodwill Tour in Japan, left-hander Claude Osteen starts against Masaichi Kaneda of the Yomiuri Giants, the reigning champions of the Japanese Baseball League at Tokyo’s Korakuen Stadium. The Dodgers won the first of 18 games played in Japan by a 16-5 score.

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