Dodgers World Series Ring Walter O'Malley The Official Website



A Dodger Stadium Tail
Chad McClellan
Saito
No-nos...
Autographed Plate
A Cartoonist's Dream
Good Catch
Ebbets Explains...
Time Magazine
Sports Illustrated
Green Thumb...
Planting...
Good Neighbors
Mary's Hour
Friendships in Africa
Chief is also a Chef
Daughter's Memories
Surprising Hilda
Generally Speaking...
Forever Hope
Who Was That Man?
Mistaken Identity
Cat's Eye...
In Good Company
Finder's Keepers
Mystery Letters Solved
Small Change
Give Him Credit
New Jersey...
"Spirit of Life"
Advertisements
O'Malley's Ring...
One for the Book
Short Stops



Good Catch


He never threw a pitch in a Major League game, and he did not have a doctorate in physics, but Walter O’Malley’s sharp eye could spot a flaw in the illustration of a baseball.
The March 17, 1958 issue of Sports Illustrated began a five-part weekly series on the particular skills of Major League baseball pitchers. Among the areas covered in the series were pitching, catching, hitting, infield play, outfield play and baserunning. The magazine’s first segment was a discussion on pitching by veteran Sal Maglie.
The determined competitor, Maglie, also known as “The Barber” for pitching in tight to hitters, provided the insight to writer Roy Terrell on pitching successfully in the Major Leagues. Accompanying the article were illustrations of Maglie’s pitching style by artist Anthony Ravielli.
As part of the magazine coverage on the subject, Maglie discussed pitching grips on the baseball for various pitches as Maglie’s fastball, curve and slider. Each grip on a baseball was “illustrated” by the artist.
However, on page 37 of the article, one great baseball fan who also happened to own a Major League team noticed a discrepancy in the illustration of the baseball Maglie gripped to throw the slider.
Walter O’Malley wrote a note to H.H.S. Phillips, Jr., the publisher of Sports Illustrated advising him of the incorrectly drawn baseball.
“3 sketches, page 37” wrote Walter O’Malley, “show impossible stitching on baseball. Such a ball would really do tricks for Sal. Sorry Anthony (Ravielli, the artist), a common error.”
The baseball as drawn by the artist had the stitching on the baseball running together in the same direction on one panel. A stitching of this type would give the pitcher a remarkable advantage in the movement of the baseball.
Sports Illustrated checked the advice and agreed with O’Malley. They printed O’Malley’s note to SI and published this response in the “The 19th hole,” the letters to the editor section in the magazine.
[Mr. O’Malley is] “Right. The stitching on regulation baseball runs continuously so that a ball viewed head-on has its V stitches running down one side but up the other.”
A lot of Dodger pitchers would have loved to throw a baseball illustrated like that!




An illustration by artist Anthony Ravielli of the two seam fastball grip of Sal Maglie for a Sports Illustrated article in March, 1958. It is here that Dodger President Walter O’Malley sees a mistake in the illustration of the baseball and writes “error.”



A close-up version of the illustration mistake spotted by Walter O’Malley that appeared in Sports Illustrated. Dodger President Walter O’Malley’s sharp eye catches that the baseball stitches in the illustration are running toward each other and not in the same direction.



A written note later sent by telegram from Walter O’Malley to Sports Illustrated publisher H.H.S. Phillips informing him of the mistaken illustration of a baseball.



The response by Sports Illustrated in their “Letters to the Editor” section stating that Walter O’Malley had correctly spotted a mistake in the illustration of a baseball and how the baseball stitches should actually appear.




Back to top

< A Cartoonist's Dream Ebbets Explains... >


HomeWalter O'Malley BiographyDodger HistoryDodger Stadium
MultimediaHistoric DocumentsPhoto Galleries

Terms of UsePrivacy PolicySite MapSite CreditsContact
Copyright © 2003-2017 O'Malley Seidler Partners, LLC. All rights reserved.
Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with the permission of MLB Advanced Media, L.P.
All rights reserved.