Dodgers World Series Ring Walter O'Malley The Official Website

The Early Years
Entering The...
The Dodger Saga
A New Era Begins
Ebbets Field Revisited
The Memorable...
Searching for New...
L.A. Sends a Message
This is Next Year!
Putting Their Domes...
The Political Game
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Los Angeles Bound
Where to Play in L.A.
Curveball Right...
The Red Head is a...
1959: A Year of...
Home Sweet Home
Construction of...
L.A.'s Sparkling New...
1963: A Taxing Year...
The Business of..
Growing the Game...
Moving to Chairman...
The Last Inning
The Biography of Walter O'Malley

The Political Game
Despite the desire of the city to have a major league team, the voters felt otherwise when it came to using bonds to fund the building of a municipal baseball stadium, as on May 31, 1955, Los Angeles turned down such a ballot measure. The apathetic vote meant the proposition’s $4.5 million bond issue was sunk and lessened the chances of attracting a major league team. This was a significant vote, since it meant that if the Dodgers were the right team to relocate in Los Angeles, O’Malley would have to build his own ballpark and not have a municipally-owned stadium, as was available in San Francisco, where voters there had passed a $4.5 million bond proposition to fund construction of a ballpark. O’Malley saved the 1955 newspaper clipping on this important topic.50
On August 17, 1955, O’Malley served notice to all that his intentions were serious, as the 1956 Dodgers would play seven “home” games, one game against each National League opponent, plus an initial exhibition game in Jersey City, New Jersey’s Roosevelt Stadium. It was a bold move by O’Malley, who worked out a lease for the ballpark, sending a message to the politicians that there was an urgency in getting a response to his quest for land and a final solution to the aging Ebbets Field problem. O’Malley would pay $50,000 to help upgrade Roosevelt Stadium (30,000 capacity and parking for 4,000 cars) for major league games. In the Dodger press release that day, O’Malley explained, “We plan to play almost all of our ‘home’ games at Ebbets Field in 1956 and 1957 but will have to have a new stadium shortly thereafter. Our present attendance studies show the need for greater parking. The public used to come to Ebbets Field by trolley cars, now they come by automobile. We can only park 700 cars. Our fans require a modern stadium — one with greater comforts, short walks, no posts, absolute protection from inclement weather, convenient rest rooms and a self selection first come, first served, method of buying tickets. Baseball, with its heavy night schedule is now competing with many attractions for the consumer’s dollar and it better spend some money if it expects to hold its fans. Racing has found a way to get State legislation and financing for a super-colossal proposed race track. I shudder to think of this future competition if we do not produce something modern for our fans. We will consider other locations only if we are finally unsuccessful in our ambition to build in Brooklyn.”51
It had been a dizzying several years for the persistent O’Malley, who wanted to leave no stone unturned.

50 Gladwin Hill, New York Times, June 2, 1955, “Los Angeles Vote Vetoes Ball Park” article
51 Official Dodger Press Release, August 17, 1955

The Dodgers’ 1954 yearbook features the Brooklyn “Bum” character, who dreams of a new ballpark.

Copyright © Los Angeles Dodgers, Inc.

In addition to their Ebbets Field home schedule, the Dodgers played 15 games in Jersey City during the 1956 and 1957 seasons.

Copyright © Los Angeles Dodgers, Inc.

Brooklyn Dodgers at Roosevelt Stadium
Jersey City, New Jersey
1956 Record (6-1)
April 19 W, 5-4 Philadelphia Phillies
May 16 W, 5-3 St. Louis Cardinals
June 25 W, 3-2 Chicago Cubs
July 25 W, 2-1 Cincinnati Reds
July 31 W, 3-2 Milwaukee Braves
Aug. 7 W, 3-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Aug. 15 L, 1-0 New York Giants
1957 Record (5-3)
April 22 W, 5-1 Milwaukee Braves
May 3 W, 6-0 St. Louis Cardinals
June 5 W, 4-0 Chicago Cubs
June 10 L, 3-1 Milwaukee Braves
July 12 W, 3-1 Cincinnati Reds
Aug. 7 L, 8-5 New York Giants
Aug. 16 W, 4-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
Sept. 3 L, 3-2 (12) Philadelphia Phillies


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