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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

October 24

October 24, 1950

Walter O’Malley and Mrs. John L. Smith hold a press conference at the Bossert Hotel in Brooklyn to announce that they have exercised their option to purchase Dodger President Branch Rickey’s 25 percent stock in the club. Rickey entertained an outside offer from William Zeckendorf of New York realty firm Webb & Knapp for $1,050,000. By mutual agreement, when one of the three partners decided to sell or transfer stock, the other two partners had the right to purchase it first. O’Malley and Mrs. Smith matched the price Zeckendorf had offered to Rickey to purchase the stock. Zeckendorf received a “commitment reimbursement” of $50,000 for tying up his $1 million, until the offer was matched by O’Malley and Mrs. Smith.The New York Times, October 25, 1950 Between O’Malley and Mrs. Smith, they control 75 percent of the shares of stock in the Dodgers, while the other 25 percent is held by Jim Mulvey, husband of Dearie McKeever Mulvey (daughter of former Dodger President Stephen McKeever).

October 24, 1961

Arthur E. “Red” Patterson, Dodger Director of Public Relations and Promotions, thanks movie producer David L. Wolper for sending a copy of the “The Willie Davis Story” (also known as “The Biography of a Rookie”) to the Dodgers. The biography is directed by Mel Stuart, who also directed the 1971 classic “Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.” The Dodgers plan to show the movie to major and minor league players at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida the following spring.

October 24, 1978

Penelope McMillan of the Los Angeles Times writes a feature article about Walter O’Malley stating, “This is the man who was first to bring a major league club West and make the ‘national pastime’ national.” O’Malley said, “I like challenges, fighting the battles. Almost everything I started had a great potential for causing me to lose my shirt. I gambled recklessly on a number of things. I did in this (looking out of his office to Dodger Stadium). I could have gone broke as easily as not.” Asked about Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully, O’Malley said, “This is the greatest Dodger. People ask me, ‘Who was the greatest Dodger? Was it Robinson?’ It’s Scully. You know, we hired him right out of school.”Penelope McMillan, Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle, October 24, 1978

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