Scholarship at Ohio University Honors Baseball Visionary Walter O’Malley

Former Major League Baseball General Manager Dean Taylor has generously established the “Walter O’Malley Scholarship Fund” at Ohio University. The fund is designated specifically for “full-time graduate students enrolled in the College of Business’ Master of Business Administration/Master of Sports Administration dual degree program, or the Master of Sports Administration Program, with preference given to students pursuing careers in the baseball industry.”

Taylor was a 1975 graduate of Ohio’s Sports Administration Program, which was started by Dr. James Mason and inspired by Dodger owner O’Malley. In 1965 discussions with Dr. Mason, O’Malley asked an important question, “Where would one go to find a person who, by virtue of education, has been trained to administer a stadium…or a person to fill an executive position at a team or league level? A course that would enable a graduate to read architectural and engineering plans; or having to do with specifications and contract letting, the functions of a purchasing agent in plant operations. There would be the problems of ticket selling and accounting, concessions, sale of advertising in programs, and publications, outdoor and indoor displays, and related items.”

Dean Taylor and his son, Colby, pose with the 2015 World Series trophy after the Kansas City Royals defeated the New York Mets. A 1975 graduate of OHIO’s Sports Administration Program, Dean Taylor created the Walter O’Malley Scholarship Fund in honor of the program’s visionary. Photo courtesy of Dean Taylor

O’Malley initially spoke with a professor at Columbia University about the concept and the professor and his doctoral student, Dr. Mason, pursued the concept. O’Malley and Dr. Mason discussed the need for such an education as early as 1957. From that question, the seed was sown for an academic program built around sports administration. Dr. Mason developed the initial program at Ohio University and the Center for Sports Administration was founded.

Taylor recalls reading about the program in a Los Angeles Times’ column and decided to transfer from Claremont Men’s College to Ohio and then pursue becoming general manager of a baseball team.

Taylor’s path from Ohio University’s Sports Administration program led him to a 40-year career in Major League Baseball and three World Championships. His dream of becoming a general manager was achieved with the Milwaukee Brewers (1999-2002), after positions as assistant G.M. of the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals and Cincinnati Reds.

In establishing the scholarship fund, Taylor told, “None of this would have been possible without Ohio U. There was no Walter O’Malley scholarship, so we felt it was appropriate…based on the huge role he played in getting the program started and his vision.”

Peter O’Malley, son of Walter O’Malley, said in the same publication, of Taylor’s generosity, “That’s extraordinary of him.” Of the program, O’Malley said, “It just grew and grew and grew. That’s a remarkable accomplishment for everyone – the people at Ohio University, Dr. Mason, my Dad and everyone else. It’s quite a story.”