Print / View Finding Aid as Single Page

Brooklyn Historical Society logo

Guide to the Walter O'Malley Brooklyn Dodgers records ARC.294

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201
718-222-4111
library@brooklynhistory.org


Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by John Calhoun

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on September 14, 2016
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Last revised by John Zarrillo  , September 2016

Biographical Note

Walter O'Malley (1903-1979) was President of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Brooklyn's professional baseball team. Born in the Bronx, N.Y., he graduated from Fordham University School of Law in Manhattan in 1930, and in 1932 was assigned to serve on the Board of Directors of the Brooklyn Dodgers as a representative of the financial interests of the Brooklyn Trust Company. O'Malley became the attorney for the Dodgers in 1943, and by 1947 was Vice President and General Counsel of the organization. He became majority owner and President of the Dodgers in 1950.

Beginning in 1955, shortly before the Dodgers' first World Series victory over the New York Yankees in October of that year, O'Malley began planning for the construction of a new domed stadium in Brooklyn to replace the Dodgers' aging home stadium, Ebbets Field. However, his plans for a new, privately-financed stadium met with consistent opposition from New York politicians. In October of 1957, after failing to come to an agreement for the building of a new stadium in Brooklyn, O'Malley announced he would be relocating the Dodgers to Los Angeles, CA beginning with the 1958 season.

As President of the Los Angeles Dodgers, O'Malley oversaw the construction of the Dodger's new home field, Dodger Stadium, which opened in April of 1962 and was the first privately-financed stadium since the opening of Yankee Stadium in 1923. The Dodgers also won three World Series championships during O'Malley's presidency in Los Angeles, including one in 1959 against the Chicago White Sox, one in 1963 against the New York Yankees, and one in 1965 against the Minnesota Twins.

O'Malley stepped down as President of the Dodgers in 1970 to become Chairman of the Board, appointing his son, Peter O'Malley, as President of the organization. In 1978, Walter O'Malley became the first recipient of the August Busch, Jr. Award, which acknowledges "meritorious service by a non-uniformed front office executive." O'Malley died on August 9, 1970, and was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Los Angeles next to his wife of 47 years, Kay O'Malley. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. in 2007.

Sources:

  1. O'Malley Seidler Partners, LLC. "Walter O'Malley: Timeline of Achievements 1903-2003." Accessed October 21, 2011. http://www.walteromalley.com/biog_time_index.php