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This Day in Walter O’Malley History

December 2

December 2, 1953

Oscar Ruhl writes in his column, “The Rule Book” in The Sporting News of Walter O’Malley’s high regard for Roy Campanella. Ruhl reported that O’Malley had told Campanella when his playing career was over, the Dodgers would help him begin his managerial career with a guaranteed position with a Dodger minor league club and as Ruhl writes, “Giving Campanella the distinction of being the first Negro to manage a club in Organized Ball.”Oscar Ruhl, "The Ruhl Book", The Sporting News, December 2, 1953 Campanella played for the Dodgers through the 1957 season, but his playing career ended from injuries sustained in an automobile accident on January 28, 1958, which left the three-time MVP paralyzed from the neck down.

December 2, 1960

Walter O’Malley writes a telegram to George Hearst, Publisher of the Los Angeles Herald-Express, explaining his position about the American League expansion into the Los Angeles territory. “Regarding your editorial today, sorry my position has not been made clear to you. Briefly, I object to an American League club coming to Los Angeles in 1961 and playing in the schedule tight Coliseum. I have never presumed to freeze the Los Angeles County area to the American League. Your sports writers are familiar with my many quotes on this subject. When the American League comes, it should be an orderly move and not a panicky decision that would adversely affect baseball and others. Other stories would indicate that I was making a monetary demand the prime consideration. The Commissioner of Baseball, the two League Presidents and everyone in baseball with the exception of a few ambitious persons know this is not so. I believe a rule of reason can be accomplished at the St. Louis (owner’s) meetings. Remember, I have really said all of this before. Regards, Walter F. O’Malley”

December 2, 1966

An eventful landing at Los Angeles International Airport took place on Walter O’Malley’s return from Baseball Winter Meetings in Columbus, Ohio. O’Malley, Angels owners Gene Autry and Robert O. Reynolds and Angel Manager Bill Rigney were among the passengers on TWA Flight 93 from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles when the plane’s hydraulic landing gear system apparently failed. Passengers on the plane were asked to remove their shoes and double over in their seats with a pillow tucked on their laps in case the emergency landing gear should also fail upon touch down. Although the runways were rain-soaked at LAX, the plane landed safely, before it was “towed into the unloading area by a truck.”Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, December 3, 1966

December 2, 1974

Walter O’Malley sends this letter to Angels President Robert O. Reynolds: “The ticker service has just announced your resignation as President of the California Angels. You know how much I have appreciated your participation in our baseball problems over the years and I do want you to know that you will be missed by all of baseball and particularly by me.” The Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels shared Dodger Stadium for their home games from 1962-65.

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