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

On May 28, 1957, the National League, meeting in Chicago, granted the New York Giants and the Dodgers permission to move to San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively, if the two clubs would shift together before October 1, 1957. The next day, New York Mayor Wagner requested a meeting with O’Malley and Giants’ owner Horace Stoneham. The meeting was held on June 4 and O’Malley and Stoneham made it clear that they were neither committed to stay in New York or move to the West Coast. Stoneham had originally wanted to move to Minneapolis-St. Paul, site of his Triple-A affiliate, and pay a territorial fee to disband the minor league team, but O’Malley and others suggested that he consider burgeoning San Francisco as a new locale for the Giants. This way, costly travel expenses for all other National League clubs would be more economical, plus the longtime rivalry could be maintained.
In testimony before the House Antitrust Subcommittee of the Committee of the Judiciary in Washington, D.C. before Chairman Hon. Emanuel Celler on June 26, 1957, O’Malley was asked repeatedly whether the Dodgers were going to play baseball in Los Angeles in 1958. O’Malley’s response: “I do not know the answer for two reasons. One, I do not know what the result of Mayor Wagner’s study in New York City will bring. Two, I do not know whether or not Los Angeles will be ready for major league baseball next spring.”
Responding to charges that O’Malley was playing New York against Los Angeles for the purposes of going to the highest bidder, he explained, “It is a very simple situation, Mr. Chairman. I started out in 1947 trying to get a new ball park for the Brooklyn Dodgers in Brooklyn. We hired an engineer, we conferred with our civic officials, and made very serious studies of various sites.
“It developed that at that time the way could not be found to condemn land to assemble a plot large enough, and, of course, the ball club very properly does not have the legal right to condemn land. But it was hoped that there was enough of a public purpose in the activities surrounding a ball club, particularly if it could be tied in with other things of civic importance such as the relocation of a meat market. The meat market men said that if they were relocated, they could bring the price of meat down 5 cents a pound in Brooklyn. That seemed to be a pretty good civic proposition. There was a traffic intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush which is a very bad one, and some day it is going to be cured.

Early in the 1957 season, it was unclear whether the Dodgers and Giants would remain in New York or find a new home. The Giants considered moving to the St. Paul-Minneapolis area, the site of their Triple-A farm club. (L-R) Dodger President Walter O’Malley, New York Mayor Robert Wagner, Giants owner Horace Stoneham and Brooklyn Borough President John Cashmore appear at a June 4 press conference.

AP/Wide World Photos

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