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Timeline of Baseball's Historic Expansion to the West Coast

Introduction

The following three sections (Background, 1957-58 and Aftermath) comprise a Timeline of key dates and events whereby the National League permitted expansion to the West Coast. First, the Giants stated their intentions to move to San Francisco on August 19, 1957, while on October 8, 1957, the Dodgers announced they were headed to Los Angeles for the 1958 season. Previously, Major League Baseball had no teams playing west of Kansas City in 1957, but by 1998, 10 teams, or one-third of all major league clubs, were based in that territory. The decision also significantly impacted the migration and development of other professional sports leagues to the West.

Edited by Brent Shyer and Robert Schweppe



Two potential sites had been considered for the development of a new stadium at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues in Brooklyn. This shows the site preferred by Dodger President Walter O’Malley, which was conducted by Madigan-Hyland, the consulting engineers for the Brooklyn Sports Center Authority, which issued a report comparing the locations. Brooklyn Borough President John Cashmore made a study using the engineering firm of Clarke & Rapuano and the site would be located on the west of Flatbush Avenue, while the Brooklyn Sports Center Authority proposed location was east of Atlantic and Flatbush, on the site of the Long Island Rail Road Terminal and the two adjoining blocks occupied by the Fort Greene Wholesale Meat Market. Either location would have been suitable to O’Malley who was prepared to build and privately finance the stadium for the Dodgers, but needed assistance in assembling the land from New York City officials.



At a Los Angeles International Airport welcoming celebration on October 23, 1957, Dodger President Walter O’Malley stepped off the team-owned airplane and was greeted by Los Angeles City Councilwoman Rosalind Wyman and L.A. County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, who were vitally instrumental in bringing the Dodgers to their new home. O’Malley was served a summons at the airport which challenged the city’s approved contract with the Dodgers. This was only the fourth time O’Malley had ever been in Los Angeles. In a brief press conference in the airplane, O’Malley said that he was not sure where the Dodgers would play their home games in 1958.



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