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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

October 29

October 29, 1953

Walter O’Malley writes to Gene Cuneo of the Erie, Pennsylvania Times to thank him for his column of October 15th regarding O’Malley and former Dodger Manager Charlie Dressen both being “nice guys.” “The boys who were present at the press conference, I am sure, got a very straight impression of the situation as both Charlie and I were there to answer questions and no punches were pulled,” writes O’Malley. “Of course the columns were written later and much of it was conjectured...Charlie dropped in to say good-bye before he left for the (West) Coast. Charlie is a good manager and he will be back in the major league some day. In the meanwhile, we will manage to put the team on the field next spring and we will have a manager and our goal will be set as it has been for three years, to win Brooklyn’s first world’s championship. Many thanks for complimenting us on winning two National League pennants (1952 and 1953) in a row but frankly to us in the front office they were only steps towards the goal we have failed to achieve the last two years.” Cuneo’s column also mentioned, “Another story on O’Malley, which gives a tip-off on his character, came about as he was passing a table where there were seated six small town newspapermen. One scribe had just said to another, ‘Say, do you know Walter O’Malley? I want to meet him. There’s something I want to ask him?’ O’Malley, unknown to the scribe, stopped suddenly and turned. He came back to the table and told the fellow, ‘I’m Walter O’Malley. And I’m ready to answer any question you have.’ The guy is as common as a nickel and has a million-dollar heart. He showed his heart three years ago when he refused to fire Dressen despite criticism of fellow stockholders and fans.”Gene Cuneo, Erie, Pennsylvania Times, October 15, 1953

October 29, 1966

The Los Angeles Dodgers play the Yomiuri Giants in Japan (on Oct. 28) as part of their 1966 Goodwill Tour and the taped game is televised on ABC’s Wide World of Sports with former Dodger broadcaster Red Barber announcing. Barber said, “I have no closer friend in baseball than Walter Alston, and I am fond of all the players. I’d also like to clear up some misconceptions about my relationship with Walter O’Malley at the end of my career. There never was a voice raised in anger between us. Our greetings have always been cordial and, in fact, I have great respect for the man. Remember, I was not fired by the Dodgers. I quit because I felt it was in our mutual interest.”Harley Tinkham, "Sports on TV", Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, October 28, 1966 Barber was the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award and inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1978. In addition, Barber served as mentor to another Hall of Fame broadcaster for the Dodgers — Vin Scully.

October 29, 1970

Dodger Chairman Walter O’Malley writes a letter to Rabbi Edgar F. Magnin of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. “My Dear Edgar: On December 3rd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, there will be held the first annual Baseball Awards Dinner. Part of this show will be taped for TV to be part of the Bob Hope show. Vin Scully will be the MC. Baseball Commissioner (Bowie) Kuhn has asked if I would peek into your diary to see if perchance you would be available that evening to give the invocation. I told the Commissioner it would be my pleasure to ask you and also to inquire if Mrs. Magnin would care to attend the banquet with Kay. Do not bother writing — just reach for the phone and let me know. All the best.”

October 29, 1973

Walter O’Malley writes to the widow of Dodger Stadium and Holman Stadium engineer-designer Capt. Emil Praeger, who passed away on October 16. “Dear Edna: Kay and I were so saddened to learn about Emil and we do trust that you have been able to make the adjustments which are so important...All our wishes go to you, Edna. Sincerely, Walter”

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