Select a date

This Day in Walter O’Malley History

December 11

December 11, 1950

On the committee recommendation of Walter O’Malley and Horace Stoneham (owner of the New York Giants), the National League unanimously approved an employment contract for President Ford C. Frick. O’Malley and Stoneham drafted the terms of the agreement.

December 11, 1952

A letter to industrial designer and theatre architect Norman Bel Geddes from Walter O’Malley explains O’Malley’s interest in building a new stadium for the Dodgers in Brooklyn. “Capt. (Emil) Praeger and I are trying to stimulate some interest in a new stadium and if we get any place there might be an opportunity for you to volunteer your unique talents. I see that you had an interesting article in Colliers magazine and there was considerable interest shown in it at the baseball meetings in Phoenix last week. Milwaukee is now completing its new stadium. You will be interested in knowing that we completed our little stadium in Vero Beach in 55 days, 5000 seats at a cost of $30,000. We are quite pleased with the result.”

December 11, 1953

Walter O’Malley outlines his thoughts for building a new stadium in Brooklyn. “Winning the World Series for the first time would be the springboard to public and political approval of our ideas for the construction of a new ball park, on one of three sites now under consideration,” O’Malley said. “Please do not misunderstand my use of the words ‘political approval’ with regard to our projected arena. The Brooklyn club would not want to operate in a stadium with a political landlord.” According to the article in the New York World-Telegram and Sun, “O’Malley indicated by ‘political approval’ he meant assistance from the city condemnation proceedings, and federal regulations for slum clearance which have aided plans for the Port Authority’s new coliseum at Columbus Circle...‘Are we likely to have this new park, covering, with parking fields, some eight acres, within five years? Yes. Our planning for the new park started in 1946. I am confident that we are closer than ever to consummation. For private enterprise to assemble eight acres within a city is very difficult. We would have to get government support.”Dan Daniel, New York World-Telegram and Sun, December 11, 1953

December 11, 1953

The New York World-Telegram and Sun reports: “There never was — and there is not now — any intention by the major league clubs to kill the Pension System, unless the players want it killed in favor of a better and more workable scheme,” said Walter F. O’Malley, Dodger president of the Brooklyn club, today. It was O’Malley who, on Sept. 29, 1953, in a meeting of the Executive Council in this city, wrote out the resolution which was adopted by the joint meeting of the National and American Leagues on Wednesday. He denied that this resolution had contemplated junking the present pension system without a substitute. He deplored strongly the use of the word ‘termination’ in the resolution and was inclined to criticize the literary quality of his own brain child. Asked why he had introduced the so-called ‘junking’ resolution, O’Malley replied, “I am sorry that its intent has been misinterpreted. The resolution, as offered back in September, and again on Wednesday, contemplated ending the present pension system in 1955, at the close of the second five-year contract with the Equitable Life, only if the players could show us a better, and not more expensive, plan...As to the contention of J. Norman Lewis, attorney for the players that (World) Series television and radio money, and the receipts and TV and radio revenues from the All Star game, belong to the Pension Fund, I have only to quote three handy sources of definite information to the contrary. On April 1, 1947, September 10, 1951 and April 1, 1952, the major leagues sent to all Pension Plan players booklets which quite plainly told the beneficiaries that all the revenues referred to belonged to the Central Fund, owned jointly by the 16 major league clubs.”

December 11, 1961

A kickoff luncheon for the Dodger Stadium dedication committee is held at the Statler Hilton in downtown Los Angeles. Harold C. “Chad” McClellan is to serve as chairman of the dedication celebration from April 1-19. Also in attendance at the meeting are Walter O’Malley, Gene Autry and Robert O. Reynolds of the Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty and former L.A. Mayor Norris Poulson. A story in the Los Angeles Times mentions, “Support of the ‘Fanorama’ festivities was pledged by chairman Ernest Debs of the Board of Supervisors and president Harold Henry of the City Council. ‘These are men here today who had differences of opinion regarding the advent of major league baseball in Chavez Ravine, but now we are all pulling together for the community and it bodes well,” said McClellan.”Los Angeles Times, December 12, 1961 In anticipation of the April 10, 1962 Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, O’Malley said, “The elevators are going in the shafts, seats are being installed, and the grading is ready for blacktop. However, we anticipate traffic problems and a few other headaches the first week or so of operation and we have to prepare ourselves for them.”Los Angeles Times, December 12, 1961

December 11, 1972

Walter O’Malley attends the Scopus Award dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The Scopus Award for the Western Region that year is presented to Rosalind and Gene Wyman. Mrs. Wyman is a former Los Angeles City Councilwoman and was the most influential leader in bringing the Dodgers to Los Angeles. Gene Wyman was an attorney in Beverly Hills and a prominent Democratic Party fundraiser. The Scopus Award is from the American Friends of Hebrew University. The guest speaker for the dinner is United States Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts.

Back to top