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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

November 9

November 9, 1944

An editorial in The Sporting News discusses the purchase of Brooklyn Dodger stock by Branch Rickey, Walter O’Malley and Andrew J. Schmitz. Rickey says in the editorial, “It would be well to exercise caution and restraint in discussion the future move of the group composed of Walter F. O’Malley, Andrew J. Schmitz and myself. Insofar as the future is concerned in the Brooklyn stock situation, I know no more than the man in the street.”The Sporting News, November 9, 1944

November 9, 1953

Speaking from Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida, Walter O’Malley expressed his approval of the United States Supreme Court 7-2 ruling reaffirming the 1922 opinion by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes that Baseball is a sport, not a business, and lies outside of the jurisdiction of the Sherman Act and federal anti-trust laws. The ruling also upheld Baseball’s reserve clause. It was considered a victory for team owners. O’Malley said, “I am pleased that the integrity of baseball has been reaffirmed by the Supreme Court. But the decision does not mean that baseball will go along with the horse and buggy days. We must clearly recognize the changing conditions and particularly the possibility of territorial expansion. For too long now baseball has been an open target for those who could profit easily by attacking it through litigation. An end has been put to that.”Harold C. Burr, Brooklyn Eagle, November 10, 1953

November 9, 1953

Walter O’Malley responds to a Long Island, New York fan’s complaint that O’Malley made the wrong decision to let Charlie Dressen go after two straight pennant-winning seasons in 1952 and 1953. The fan had written, “In 1951, Dressen lost the Pennant (13 1/2 game lead). The fans wanted you to fire him. In 1952 and 1953 Dressen led the team to victory. Now! You fire him...there are two (2) people I cannot understand — you and my wife. P.S. You can never tell which way a cat will jump.” O’Malley writes back, “I enjoyed your letter of October 15th, and thank you for writing.”

November 9, 1960

Craig F. Cullinan, Jr., one of the prime leaders involved in bringing an expansion team to Houston, writes to Walter O’Malley, chairman of the National League Expansion Committee: “I simply wish to express to you how deeply I appreciate your vote to include our group in Houston in the National League’s expansion plans for 1962. This is an expression of confidence by you of great personal significance to all of us here and we pledge ourselves to every effort toward making Houston a solid asset to the league. With repeated thanks for your many courtesies and kind personal regards, I am Craig.”

November 9, 1965

Walter O’Malley is in Washington, D.C. for baseball meetings and he is caught in the “Big Blackout of 1965.” Nine states and three Canadian provinces were affected by the loss of electrical power on the Eastern seaboard.The New York Times, November 10, 1965

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